Achievement Gap

EDCI 5030 Gap Analysis: Closing the Achievement Gap
Assignment Instructions: The Gap Analysis assignment requires you to examine data from your school/classroom. (Since you are working in a group, each member of the group should use data from his/her classroom or school. You must have data for all of the assessed content areas (ELA, math, science, social studies) and discipline data. You will compare the information from each of your classrooms or schools to discuss how to close the achievement gap among various groups of students.
Part 1: Identify the demographics of your school/classroom. You must complete the demographic chart on the entire school.
Part 2: Academic Data: Gap Analysis Using Assessment Data.
Review test scores preferably LEAP or EOC data from the 2015 – 2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, 2018-2019 school years. You should use three years of data if available. Determine if there are gaps among the students in your school. You should create a data chart that includes information on the scores by proficiency level, race, grade level, and socioeconomic status. This information should be included on the school’s report card or in the school improvement document.
Note: Statewide assessment data is available by accessing the Data Center on the Louisiana Believes website. You may wish to use the links below to begin reviewing data or you may use data from your school and/or district. You will have to do a little research to assess the information as it may not necessarily be easy to find.
Elementary and Middle School Performance – Data available from 1997 – 2018 : http://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/library/elementary-and-middle-school-performance
High School Performance – Available data includes ACT, EOC, LEAP 2025, Advanced Placement, Cohort Graduation, etc. from 2012 – 2018: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/library/high-school-performance
The Louisiana Equity Reports for 2017 and 2018 may also be helpful to review when completing this assignment. Use the following link to access the reports. http://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/library/closing-the-equity-gap
Part 3: Discipline Data: Examining Patterns of Discipline and Disproportionality
Review the discipline data and determine if school leaders are using equity-driven principles when administering school discipline. Focus on numerical, social justice and cultural and beliefs-oriented goals when examining discipline data. If discipline data is available to you for the 2015 – 2016, 2016-2017, 2017 – 2018, and 2018-2019 school years, please use the data based on your school. Again, use three years of data if it is available. If data is not available, I will provide sample data in table form for you to review. The tables provided will serve as examples of the data you should obtain on your school if possible. You may choose to use the tables provided to address the questions related to discipline data.
Part 4: Technology Integration
How is technology integrated into the school, classrooms, daily lessons? Identify the types of technology and technology tools used to support instruction and assessment. Please be very specific in your response.
EDCI 5030 Closing the Achievement Gap
Part 1: Identifying the Demographic Make-Up of the School
Complete the chart below with information on your school. Replace the numbers with actual enrollment data from your selected school.
School Name: ­­­­­­­______________________________________________________
Total Number of Students in the School: _____________________________________________
School Socio-Economic Make-Up (i.e., % receiving free and reduced lunch): _______________
Create a chart of student enrollment: example below

Grade Level 9 10 11 12
Number of Students 688 650 612 550
Gender:
Number of Females:
Number of Males:
Ethnic/Cultural Make-Up
Caucasian/White:
African American/ Black:
Hispanic/Latino:
Asian/Pacific Islander:
American Indian/Alaskan Native:
Language Proficiency
Number of English Language Learners (ELL):
Academic Performance
Number of Students Performing
Below Grade Level:
Number of Student Performing
Above Grade Level:
Students with Special Needs
Learning Disabled:
Emotionally or Behaviorally Impaired:
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD):
Developmentally Disabled/
Mental Retardation:
Speech and Language Disorder:
Autism/ PDD/Asperger Syndrome:
Gifted and Talented:
Blind or Visually Impaired (VI):
Deaf or Hearing Impaired (HI):
Physically Disabled:
Other Health Impaired:
Student Characteristics:
Describe developmental characteristics of students in your school.
(Cognitive, Physical, Emotional, Social).
Highlight the prior knowledge and interests of students in your school.
 
Environmental Factors:
Describe district, school, and classroom environmental factors impacting the quality of education for all of your students.
Describe community and family environmental factors impacting the quality of education for all of your students.
Instructional Strategies Appropriate for Student Characteristics and Environmental Factors:
Based on the student characteristics and environmental factors you noted above, describe the instructional strategies that teachers can use to meet the unique learning needs of your students.

Part 2: Academic Data: Gap Analysis Using Assessment Data.
Review assessment data (test scores) preferably LEAP or EOC data, and discipline data. Determine if there are gaps among the students in your school. You should create a data chart that includes information on the scores by proficiency level, race, grade level, and socioeconomic status. This information should be included on the school’s report card or in the school improvement or balanced score card document. In order to determine if patterns exist, you may wish to review data from the 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years/assessment cycles.

  • The term achievement gap refers to the difference in academic achievement between white, Asian (specifically Chinese-American, Japanese-American, and Korean-American), and economically advantaged students and their African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Southeast Asian, and socioeconomically disadvantaged counterparts.
  • Example:
  • Alarmingly, the gaps widen as children go through the school system. Nationwide, African-American children average one year behind white students in second or third grade; by 12th grade, they have fallen to three or four years behind. The average African-American or Hispanic/Latino student graduates from high school with the mathematics, reading, and vocabulary skills of a typical white eighth grade student (Donahue, Voelkl, Campbell, & Mazzeo, 1999; Smith, 1995).
  • Even when controlling for families’ education backgrounds or socioeconomic status, gaps among racial/ethnic groups persist (Phillips, Brooks-Gunn, Duncan, Klebanov, & Crane, 1998).
  • Differences in achievement cannot be attributed to poverty; even middle-class children of color lag significantly behind their white counterparts (Noguera & Akom, 2000).

Example of chart to include in this project. (This is just one example.)
You will need a chart for each content area (ELA, math, science, and social studies) tested. If you are a high school you will need a chart to represent each of the EOC tests (Algebra 1, Geometry, English II, English III, Biology and U.S./American History). Those of you working with elementary grades, I would strongly advise you to work with grades 3-5. Grades K-2 will not necessarily have assessment data.
 
Once you have created your charts, you will need to analyze the information and determine strengths and weaknesses with respect to each grade level and content area. Please list three strengths and weaknesses and then discuss strategies to improve student outcomes.
A. What specific content areas (concepts and skills, not just subject area) have been identified as areas of strength and areas of improvement for the school? Document this information in a chart or table and include grade levels, test data, 3 areas of strength and 3 improvement areas (weaknesses).
B. What instructional strategies/programs have been used in the school in the last school year to address these areas of improvement? (List any programs, special initiatives along with impacted grade levels that were implemented at the school even if you were not directly involved) Are these initiatives aligned with Best Practices, UbD and DI? Explain completely.
C. Analyze and discuss the gaps in achievement based on race, gender and socioeconomic status. Develop a plan to address these gaps using specific best practice strategies including UbD and Differentiated Instructional (DI) strategies.
Part 3: Discipline Data: Examining Patterns of Discipline and Disproportionality
Review the discipline data and determine if school leaders are using equity-driven principles when administering school discipline. Focus on numerical, social justice and cultural and beliefs-oriented goals when examining discipline data. If discipline data is available to you for the 2016-2017 and 2018-2019 school years, you may use the data based on your school. You will have to create tables like the tables provided below. If data is not available or if you would prefer to analyze the data provided, use the data below.
Sample data for use if data is unavailable at your school site. The data below represents a fictious school, Early College Career Academy, with an enrollment of nearly 1500 students with the following racial/ethnic structure: 45% White, 34% Black, 9 % Asian, 7% Hispanic/Latino, and 5% Multiracial/Other.
Table 3.1 Discipline/Behavioral Referral Data

2015 – 2016 2016 – 2017 2017 – 2018
All Students 1804 1152 1076
White 442 268 166
Black 1171 755 806
Multiracial/Other 73 50 37
Latino 100 55 55
Asian 18 19 12
SWD 285 185 222
FRLP 1420 935 909
% of referrals Black 65% 65% 75%
% of referrals non-Black 35% 35% 25%
% of referrals White 25% 23% 15%

Key: SWD – Students with Disabilities; FRLP – Free and Reduced Lunch Program
Table 3.2 Suspension Data

2015 – 2016 2016 – 2017 2017 – 2018
All Students 229 159 155
White 39 35 29
Black 168 102 106
Multiracial/Other 9 7 6
Latino 12 13 9
Asian 1 2 2
SWD 43 32 43
FRLP 190 129 127
% of referrals Black 73% 64% 68%
% of referrals non-Black 27% 36% 32%
% of referrals White 17% 22% 19%

Key: SWD – Students with Disabilities; FRLP – Free and Reduced Lunch Program

  1. Discuss the data in each table. What types of patterns persist? What conclusions can be drawn based on the information in each table. Please be very thorough in your analysis.
  2. What are some processes, practices and policy areas that need to be examined?
  3. What are some social justice-oriented concerns about these patterns?
  4. Is there a connection between referrals and academic achievement? If so, what connections have you observed in your experiences as an educator?
  5. Suspensions live in referrals, what can be done to improve the number of and suspension rates for students?
  6. What types of programs do you have in place in your current schools to reduce the rate of referrals and suspensions? List the programs and discuss why you believe these programs are effective or ineffective.
  7. How would you improve discipline in a school? What specific strategies would you address through professional development to improve discipline in individual classrooms and the whole school?

Part 4: Technology Integration
Please describe the technology available and technology tools used to support instruction and assessment. It is important to describe the technology and technology tools that are available for teachers and students. Please be very detailed and specific in your descriptions.
Note: ETEC members of the group, please consider how the group can incorporate technology to the specific strategies for improving outcomes in each school and the district.