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The Achievement Gap

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After reading the results of a new study by researchers at the University of Utah's Education Policy Center, it is impossible to deny the existence of a distinct and alarming achievement gap in Utah's public schools.

As the study shows, "gaps in (educational) access and outcomes exist overwhelmingly for students of color in Utah." In short, the paper concludes that the state's burgeoning population of Latino students, especially, is at a disadvantage in Utah's educational system.

According to the study, the gaps in student achievement go beyond differences in standardized test scores to include such unconscionable matters as "disproportionate differences in per-pupil funding based on race."

This is an issue of enormous concern since the percentage of non-white students in Utah's public schools, especially Latinos, is growing dramatically. Quite simply, what will come of them if they are not effectively educated? What price will society pay down the road for failing these youngsters now?

KSL appreciates the announced motives of the study - to have it become "a springboard for continued discussions" and "candid debate on educational equity" in Utah.

Initiating a discourse, of course, is one thing. What's critical, in KSL's view, is having that discourse lead to solutions for incrementally closing Utah's unfortunate, yet very real achievement gap.

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