MCPS Achievement Gap Shrink Noted at National Conference

A University of Chicago professor said a change in culture, not curriculum, was key.


Montgomery County Public Schools was singled out at a recent national conference on high school reform for taking steps to close the achievement gap between races, according to US News & World Report. A professor at the University of Chicago noted the system had succeeded in lifting up scores for black and Hispanic students.

Charles Payne, professor and affiliate of the university's Urban Education Institute, said MCPS narrowed the achievement gap—in which black and Latino students have lower test scores than their white and Asian classmates—at all grade levels by moving the best teachers to underserved schools. 

"There are some groups of African-American and Hispanic students who, when they get a different caliber of teachers, can turn on a dime," he said. "Montgomery County cannot be the only place where those students exist."

A spokesperson for MCPS told The Gazette that leveling achievement has been a goal "for decades" and that it is still part of the strategic plan. 

County schools Superintendent Joshua Starr said recently that the school system will have "an unrelenting commitment to equity" as a top priority. (Click here to watch Starr talk with Patch about Montgomery County's achievement gap.) 

Baltimore city public schools also were cited by Payne for increasing graduation rates.

Click here to read full the article in U.S. News & World Report.


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