Commentary Feature

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Achievement quandaries

An ambitious, important new piece of analysis in Education Next concludes that young Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum have made some progress over the past half century in academic achievement, but that rising tide hasn’t narrowed key gaps among them and hasn’t lifted the high school boats. This raises some really tough questions. How much does gap-closing matter versus tide-rising? Why has the tide stopped rising at the high school door? And—of course—what, if anything, is to be done, besides more of what we’ve been doing, at least since we began to get serious about addressing mediocrity and closing gaps back in the 1960s?

Chester E. Finn, Jr. 3.20.2019

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