According to the Christian Science Monitor, a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education shows that New Jersey is a national leader in closing the achievement gap.
According to the Monitor, reading and math scores for all races have generally risen since the 1990s. Despite that overall progress, though, few states have narrowed the achievement gap between racial groups. However, the Monitor notes that “New Jersey narrowed gaps in both reading and math for fourth grade,” one of only three states in the nation to do so.
Michael Holzman, a research consultant with the Schott Foundation for Public Education, credits New Jersey’s progress to more equitable distribution of funding to high-poverty areas.
NJEA president Joyce Powell reacted to the report. "We won't be satisfied until all achievement gaps are eliminated. However, this progress report is encouraging, and vindicates New Jersey's commitment to investment in at-risk students. The results we see here should strengthen our resolve to keep pushing forward, no matter what the economy does and no matter what critics of public education say."