Chutes and Ladders: Myths and Realities of Closing the Achievement Gap
Creating significant and sustained improvement in academic achievement is an elusive goal for schools. Short-term gains are common, however, they are often hindered by frequent plateaus and setbacks. Students who seem to get ahead in third grade seem to fall behind in fourth. Those who struggle in sixth grade do well in seventh only to lose ground in eighth. Like the mythical Sisyphus, school staff and leaders can often feel as though they are doomed to repeatedly push the rock up the hill only to see it roll down again and again. Creating lasting academic improvement that results in students consistently meeting an ever more challenging target is the gold standard of school improvement. In this presentation, participants will explore the myths and realities of strategies aimed at improving academic achievement in schools. Then they will discover the requirements and steps to producing the meaningful, sustained academic improvement necessary to close the achievement gap.
Dr. Teresa Hill has served as an educator and school and district leader for over twenty years. She has conducted research on closing the achievement gap and has consulted with school districts in the State of Illinois. Dr. Hill is the author of two books focused on the achievement gap. The most recent book is titled, "Combating the Achievement Gap: Ending Failure as a Default in Schools" (Rowman Littlefied, 2017).