Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Closing the Achievement Gap

Lessons from New Jersey Districts: Additional Funding, High-Quality Instruction, and a Focus on Early Literacy

WASHINGTON, DC—Since 2002, the New Jersey State Department of Education has partnered with city school districts in an attempt to close the achievement gap between poor, minority students in urban districts and their counterparts in the predominantly white, affluent suburban districts. Created as a result of the landmark New Jersey Supreme Court case Abbott v. Burke, the program provided generous funding to improve educational outcomes in poor districts. Many of the state’s poorest school districts made dramatic progress by focusing on high-quality instruction and introducing effective early literacy practices. Only in Massachusetts did fourth graders score higher than those in more diverse New Jersey on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test. The lessons from these New Jersey districts apply in any American city that has concentrations of poor children in failing school districts.

Please join the Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation for a discussion of the book In Plain Sight, Simple, Difficult Lessons from New Jersey’s Expensive Effort to Close the Achievement Gap by Gordon MacInnes. The author and our expert panelists will discuss the lessons learned by these districts as well as the implications for state and federal policy.

Copies of In Plain Sight will be distributed at the event.

Opening Remarks:

Robin Chait, Associate Director for Teacher Quality, Center for American Progress

Featured Panelists:

Gordon MacInnes, Fellow, The Century Foundation and Author, In Plain Sight, Simple Difficult Lessons from New Jersey’s Expensive Effort to Close the Achievement Gap

Sara Mead, Senior Research Fellow, New America Foundation

Pablo Munoz, Superintendent, Elizabeth Public Schools, Elizabeth, New Jersey

Discussion Moderated by:

Greg Anrig, Vice President for Policy, The Century Foundation

A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.

Click here to RSVP for this event


Center for American Progress 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005

Map & Directions Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center