Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


One of our greatest educational challenges is reducing the achievement gap between successful and less-successful students. The achievement gap is usually discussed in terms of dramatic differences in graduation rates and the academic achievement between white and minority students such as Hispanics (Waxman, Padrón, and Garcia, 2007). Research in this area typically looks at school districts and/or schools that do better than others in reducing the gaps between groups of students. There are fewer research studies, however, that focus on achievement gaps within schools and classrooms. These “within” school educational disparities often are greater than the differences between schools or school differences (Waxman et al., 2007).