REL 2004 Policy Forum
Cross-State Group Discussions

Group Facilitators:

  • Dr. Shirley Neeley, Texas Education Agency
  • Mr. Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute and Teacher’s College, Columbia University
  • Dr. Karen Mapp, Institute for Responsive Education and Boston Public Schools
  • Dr. Lawrence Picus, University of Southern California and SEDL policy content advisor

Participants met in small groups to discuss resources available in their states and the challenges associated with getting the necessary/desired resources to help students achieve. Discussions in the small groups were guided by three questions.

  1. What are the policies your state has considered or implemented with respect to the achievement gap?
  2. What are the limitations or challenges in your state that impede efforts to close the achievement gap (e.g., special populations, compliance with legislation/regulations, funding, collaboration across agencies, etc.)?
  3. What resources are available to help you? What additional resources would you find helpful in finding solutions to your achievement gap issues?

Topics discussed in small groups with Shirley Neeley and Richard Rothstein

  • Achievement test limitations and diagnostic testing
  • Early childhood programs
  • Narrowing vs. closing gap and levels to narrowing gap
  • Teacher training
  • Accountability and data systems
  • Curriculum reform
  • Academic incentive programs for students
  • Revenue sources
  • Setting goals and expectations for students and schools
  • Parent involvement
  • District dialogues leading to change
  • Court and legislative impact
  • State agency vs. local monitoring
  • Impact of public perception
  • Children’s health (physical/mental)
  • Health/education partnerships

Topics discussed in small group with Karen Mapp and Larry Picus

  • academic incentive programs for students
  • home visiting programs
  • student accountability and data systems
  • state office reform
  • state policies encouraging partnerships
  • parent involvement
  • connecting the business community
  • court and legislative impact
  • state agency vs. local expectations/understanding
  • student mentoring
  • funding formula, compensatory funds, and stipends
  • supplemental services
  • fiscal and programmatic accountability and adequacy
  • Native American needs/communicating/sharing best practices and policies
  • media campaigns

Additional resources mentioned in small group discussion:

  • Just for Kids (Link no longer working:
  • Pacific Educational Group–Glenn Singleton
  • Parent Information and Resource Centers (Link no longer working:
  • Parents as Teachers program
  • Perry, T., Steele, C., & Hilliard III, A. (2003). Young, gifted, and black: Promoting high achievement among African-American students. Boston, MA, Beacon Press.