ETS Launches Special Website on Achievement Gaps


Princeton, N.J. (January 26, 2012) —

Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world's leading measurement and research organization, has created a new website to draw attention to achievement gaps among students, provide resources to those studying the issue and highlight success stories.

The site looks at why and where achievement gaps exist; the impact they have on students, teachers, families, communities and national competitiveness; and most importantly how they can be narrowed and eventually closed. The ETS Achievement Gap website is:

"Our purpose in creating this website is twofold," explains Kurt Landgraf, President and CEO of ETS. "First, improving quality and equity in education for all students is a founding principle of ETS, and we have included our own world-class policy research on achievement gaps. Second, besides current and historical research and data, we wanted the site to feature success stories — of organizations that have made strides in research, policy and practice; of schools that have had positive results in narrowing gaps; and of individual students who have overcome socioeconomic barriers."

The site features success stories such as the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® program that provides summer and after-school enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. The Strengthening Instruction in Tennessee Elementary Schools: Focus on Mathematics (SITES-M) project, and the Young People's Project (YPP), are also featured.

Full accounts of recent ETS-sponsored conferences devoted to achievement gap issues are also provided. Included among those is last November's Advancing Equity: Removing Roadblocks to Achieving High Academic Standards conference. At this symposium, scientific experts and education stakeholders grappled with the academic, fiscal and program investments — including standards and structures — necessary to fully achieve equitable educational opportunity.

Last June's symposium A Strong Start: Positioning Young Black Boys for Educational Success held in Washington, D.C., and attended by more than 300 of the nation's leaders on education, learning and achievement gap issues is also featured. The symposium was devoted to the issues facing Black boys in their early years. ETS partnered with the Children's Defense Fund to explore the challenges facing this vulnerable population, as well as the opportunities to position young Black boys for educational success.

"The rigorous research ETS conducts into the causes and consequences of education inequity is the cornerstone of our efforts to close the achievement gap," says Michael Nettles, Senior Vice President of ETS's Center for Policy Evaluation & Research. This site offers free studies and reports we've compiled and analyzed over many years that have enabled us to develop innovations in educational assessment, collaborate effectively with partners, and raise awareness of issues and attitudes that must be overcome to achieve universal education. Reports include:

  • A Strong Start: Positioning Young Black Boys for Educational Success, by Richard J. Coley
  • The Black-White Achievement Gap: When Progress Stopped, by Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley
  • Developing High-Potential Youth Program: A Return on Investment Study for U.S. Programs, by Catherine M. Millett and Michael T. Nettles
  • Parsing the Achievement Gap II, by Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley
  • Hispanicity and Educational Inequality: Risks, Opportunities and the Nation's Future, by Marta Tienda
  • A Culture of Evidence: An Evidence-Centered Approach to Accountability for Student Learning Outcomes, by Catherine M. Millett, David G. Payne, Carol A. Dwyer, Leslie M. Stickler,and Jon J. Alexiou

"Whether you're a student, parent, teacher, school administrator, policymaker, or just interested in the subject, we want to help you find what you're looking for," adds Landgraf. "The future literally depends on how well we educate all of our children. I invite you to visit the website."

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.