Monitor on Psychology - September 2011 - (Page 36)

scIence Watch achievement Could a 15-minute intervention boost ethnic-minority student achievement? Closing the gap B Y L EA W I NERMAN Monitor staff B y pretty much any measure, Cupertino High School in northern California is a successful place. Perched in the heart of Silicon Valley, Cupertino sent 85 percent of its senior class to college in 2009. Hundreds of its students choose among a dozen advanced placement classes each year. By and large, Cupertino’s kids are doing well. But some are doing better than others. On average, students at Cupertino far exceed California’s target on the state’s Academic Performance Index measure. The target is 800; Cupertino students scored 893. But Latino students, who make up 10 percent of the school’s population, averaged a score of 780, just under the statewide goal. Cupertino High School is far from alone. For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders. In fact, Cupertino’s achievement gap may be smaller than average. Nationwide, the data are striking: 94 percent of white young adults have earned a high school degree by age 24, but only 87 percent of blacks and 78 percent of Latinos have done the same, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A 2009 U.S. Department of Education review found that black fourth- and eighth-graders scored lower than their white counterparts on math and reading in every state for which data were available. Some of the differences can be explained by socioeconomic factors, but not all. Educators have been chewing over the problem for decades. Many of the solutions they’ve proposed have been large-scale teaching or curriculum reforms that are time-consuming, expensive or both. Meanwhile, despite some successes in individual schools and programs, the nationwide achievement Monitor on psychology • septeMber 2011 36

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - September 2011

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011
President’s Column
From the CEO
Supreme Court hears psychologists on prison and video game cases
Antipsychotics are overprescribed in nursing homes
New MCAT likely to recognize the mind-body connection
A $2 million boost for military and families
In Brief
On Your Behalf
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Speaking of Education
An uncertain future for American workers
Advocating for psychotherapy
Seared in our memories
Helping kids cope in an uncertain world
APA and Nickelodeon team up
Muslims in America, post 9/11
Bin Laden’s death
‘They expect us to be there’
Answering the call of public policy
Candidates answer final questions
APA News
Division Spotlight
New leaders
Disaster relief training
Honoring teaching excellence

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011