All Students Reaching the Top: Strategies for Closing Academic Achievement Gaps

This report, written by members of the National Study Group for the Affirmative Development of Academic Ability, provides a set of practical recommendations for what policymakers, educators, parents, and the community can do to move all students—particularly minority and low-income students—to high levels of academic achievement. It argues that to close achievement gaps, we first must close the experience gap. This must be done not only through education policy and schooling but also through larger social policies and programs that address the environment in which students learn when they are not at school.

The report also emphasizes the goal of helping all students achieve intellective competence, which means not just academic achievement but also the ability to think critically about and apply knowledge to new and changing situations outside of the classroom. The means to reach that goal is affirmative development, which requires a variety of tactics inside and outside of the classroom that instill in students an appreciation of and desire for learning. Together, these strategies will help students realize the intellectual success that our Information Age society requires.