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  Closing the Gaps

Achievement Gap or Opportunity Gap?

Achievement gap is often used to denote the disparities that exist between the academic achievement of white and Asian students versus that of Native American, African American, Pacific Islander, and Latino students.

At the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, we have chosen an alternative way to look at these disparities. The idea of an “achievement gap” evokes a deficit model, suggesting that students from certain communities are incapable of achieving at the same level as their white and Asian counterparts. Instead, we prefer to speak of “opportunity gaps,” a term that speaks to a system and a community that does not provide equal access to the opportunities required for each and every student to find success in the public school system. Everyone must be engaged in this work.

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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