P-12 Policy, Research, & Practice

Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps: P-12 and Beyond

All students need access to a high-quality, rigorous P-12 education to prepare for the opportunities and demands of the world outside of school doors. But too many young people — disproportionately African American, Latino, and Native students and students from low-income families — are getting an education that falls far short.

To help change these inequitable patterns and raise achievement for all students, we work alongside educators, advocates, and policymakers to identify causes of the achievement gap and to promote the practices and policies that will help close it.

Our work is anchored around these key issues:


Done right, strong accountability systems create the conditions, supports, and pressure to improve opportunities and outcomes for all students.

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Closing Gaps All Along the Achievement Spectrum

Ensuring true equity in our schools means closing gaps at every level of achievement.

Learn about our work to understand and call attention to gaps at all levels of achievement.

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College- and Career-Ready Standards and Assessments

Because the road map and mile markers of learning — high-quality standards and assessments — are critical to ensuring all students get access to the rich learning and skills they need.

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Funding Equity

Inequities in funding are foundational to all sorts of other inequities in our schools. Yet as a nation, we continue to spend less on educating our low-income students and students of color — the very students who could benefit most from additional support in their schools.

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High-Performing Schools

These schools serving low-income students and students of color prove that it is possible to get all students to high levels of achievement—it’s being done.

Learn about our work to identify, honor, and draw critical lessons from such schools and share those lessons with the field.

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The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, moves the country forward in its efforts to close the longstanding gaps in opportunity and achievement separating students of color and students from low-income communities from their peers. The law contains critical protections for these student groups and provides levers for equity-minded leaders and advocates to move the ball forward in accelerating the achievement of these students.

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Strong Teachers and Leaders

If teachers are the most important in-school factor for student achievement, school leaders are a close second. We want to ensure that low-income students and students of color get the effective, well-supported teachers and school leaders they need and deserve.

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