On the 30th Anniversary of "A Nation at Risk," Kids Still at Risk

Apr 23, 2013, 14:49 ET from National Press Club

Leading Educators Call for New Direction for Education Reform Focused on the "Opportunity Gap"

Professor Kevin Welner, University of Colorado, Director, National Educational Policy Center

Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University, Co-Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

John Jackson, President, Schott Foundation

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the 30th anniversary of the landmark education reform report A Nation at Risk, which spawned a decades-long focus on closing the academic "achievement gap" between low-income and minority children and their peers, three leading educators will call for a radical change in educators' focus – to close the "opportunity gap."

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At a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on Thursday, April 25, the authors of a new book and education reform campaign called Closing the Opportunity Gap will argue that the current intense emphasis on standardized test scores and other educational outcomes is counter-productive – as demonstrated by the recent cheating scandals in Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. They will explain why a real improvement in learning depends on a balanced new direction – one with less emphasis on measuring outcomes and more focus on addressing inputs, thereby closing the opportunity gap. Along with these researchers, the Obama Administration has been drawing attention in recent months to the opportunity gap and to spending on inputs such as programs for early childhood education and English language learners.

This NPC Newsmakers News Conference is scheduled for Thursday, April 25 at 10 a.m. in the club's Zenger Room on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20045. Discussing their new book and new approach will be University of Colorado Professor Kevin Welner, who is also Director of the National Education Policy Center; Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education; and John Jackson, President of the Schott Foundation. They also will announce plans to rate states on how well they are doing on creating opportunity.

SOURCE National Press Club