9 Research-Based Ideas to Help Close the Achievement Gap

Closing the achievement gap is a priority for University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and for the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). There are no easy answers, but we are seeing that small, actionable steps can make a real difference.

To help schools close the achievement gap one idea at a time, we have compiled our best research from more than 150 Vision 2020 blog posts. These ideas come from our brightest minds and from decades of real-world experience across eight departments and 25 research centers and institutes. Each post has recommendations for teachers, administrators and parents not only to help students succeed, but to think differently about how we approach the achievement gap by improving lives.

Please share these ideas with your faculty and staff. You can also subscribe here to have our weekly Vision 2020 blog posts sent straight to your inbox.

  1. Help Close the Achievement Gap [Infographic & Video]
    The Achievement Gap stands in the way of education and success for one in four Minnesota third graders. CEHD is working to close the Gap and suggests ways to help.
  2. School Readiness: A Key Contributor to the Achievement Gap
    Executive function skills play a major role in child development, and the underdevelopment of these skills is a key contributor to the achievement gap. Learn how parents and teachers can help cultivate executive function in a number of ways.
  3. A Targeted Approach to Intervention for Struggling Readers
    There is no “one size fits all” approach to helping struggling readers. Use targeted interventions based on the four phases—or stages—of learning.
  4. 7 Tips for Parents to Help Struggling Readers [Infographic]
    Did you know one in four Minnesota 3rd graders are failing to reach basic levels of literacy? Parents can use these seven tips to help struggling readers at home.
  5. Is Eighth Grade Algebra Closing the Achievement Gap for African American Students?
    Many students are not prepared coming into eighth grade algebra. Spending more time and connecting content and culture can close the achievement gap in math education.
  6. Later High School Start Times Improve Student Learning and Health
    Sleep deprivation can affect students’ learning and emotional health. The School Start Time Study shows that later school start times provide positive benefits to high school students.
  7. Teaching Diverse Students: How to Embrace Cultural Identity in the Classroom
    Cultural identity has a meaningful impact on the success of minority students. Teachers can improve the academic outcomes of minority students by focusing on cultural identity in the classroom.
  8. Why Career Planning for Students Starts with Exploring Identity
    Many students are being prepared for jobs that don’t even exist yet. Instead of preparing for a specific career path, students should first focus on their personal development.
  9. Re-envision Teacher Education to Improve Lives
    The Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI) is focused on re-envisioning teacher education programs to better prepare teachers for the 21st century. Read these three tips for both parents and teachers to promote success in school.

Image Credit: De Visu / Shutterstock.com


About the Author

Jean K. Quam, Ph.D.

  • Dean
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • University of Minnesota

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2 thoughts on “9 Research-Based Ideas to Help Close the Achievement Gap”

  1. Amelia Roster says:

    Really appreciate the ideas that you shared in order to close the achievement gap. These will be certainly helpful to numerous schools.

    1. CEHD says:

      Thank you for reading our Vision 2020 blog.

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