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New Analysis: CO Has Large Achievement Gap

Current Events & News | 03/22/2016

Kate Dando Doran
Director of Communications

According to the Education Equality Index (EEI), a tool released today by Education Cities and GreatSchools, Colorado has a large achievement gap between students from low-income families and their more advantaged peers. Denver’s achievement gap is bigger than nearly 90 percent of major U.S. cities.

The EEI compares the performance of students from low-income families to all students across the state, and is able to identify the regions where children from low-income communities are most likely to attend schools usually only available to their more advantaged peers.

“Clearly, Colorado has a lot of work to do if we are going to close the achievement gap,” said Jeani Frickey Saito, Stand for Children Colorado’s Executive Director.  “It’s encouraging to see that some schools are making progress.  We need to learn what’s working in these schools so we can transfer these practices to schools that are having trouble.   Closing the achievement gap is the only way we are going to ensure that every Colorado student receives an education that prepares them for success after high school.”

According to the release by Education Cities, key findings for Colorado from the EEI include:

  • Although Colorado’s EEI score indicates a widespread educational inequality, the state’s achievement gap narrowed by seven percent between 2011 and 2014.
  • Colorado has three cities in the nation’s largest 101 cities by population. In all three, the achievement gap narrowed between 2011 and 2014:
    • Denver earns an EEI score of 23.4, indicating the city is home to a massive achievement gap bigger than nearly 90 percent of major U.S. cities; however, the gap narrowed by 31 percent between 2011 and 2014.
    • Aurora earns an EEI score of 20.3, indicating the city is home to a massive achievement gap bigger than 95 percent of major U.S. cities. Positively, the gap narrowed by 10 percent between 2011 and 2014.
    • Colorado Springs earns an EEI score of 33.7, indicating the city is home to a massive achievement gap bigger than 50 percent of major U.S. cities. Positively, the gap narrowed by 10 percent between 2011 and 2014.
  • Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Denver are three of 57 major U.S. cities that do not have at least 10 schools with nonexistent or small achievement gaps serving a student population that come from low-income families.

For more information about Colorado visit the EEI website here

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