Closing the Achievement Gap

Minnesota’s Progress in Closing the Achievement Gap

The achievement gap refers to the differences in academic performance between groups of students. Closing gaps in achievement and ensuring all students are performing at high levels are critical to the social and economic well-being of Minnesota.  To understand the achievement gap, it is important to know the different types of students enrolled in Minnesota schools and the achievement of each of those groups.  

Who are Our Students?

How are Our Students Doing in Math and Reading?

Take a Look at Minnesota’s Graduation Rates

How gaps close is important. To truly close achievement gaps, all students should improve over time. For those students who lag behind their peers, achievement must be accelerated. For those students already achieving at high levels, their achievement is maintained.

A comprehensive understanding of achievement requires looking at all subjects, grades, and student groups across the school, district, and state. While the most common way of measuring gaps is by simply taking one student group and subtracting from another to compare the difference in achievement, there are also other ways to analyze achievement gaps.

What is the Achievement Gap and How do I Analyze Different Gaps?

By understanding the achievement gap using different data points, it is possible to highlight strengths and weaknesses across schools, districts, and the state. While no school, district, or the state will be at the top for all student groups, it will uncover that some places are succeeding more than others at fostering equity and achievement. 

The recent success in closing gaps is encouraging, but Minnesota still has more work to do. Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Education are working on several key initiatives to ensure more kids are graduating from high school and pursuing postsecondary education and training.
We will update this page as more progress is made. Choose “Subscribe here” at right to sign up for email notifications each time new information is added to this page. The complete set of documents linked above are available below.  
Smiling Group of Elementary Students with Backpacks
Minnesota is Making Strides to Close the Achievement Gap