Education Equality & Fairness

Too many students in our high-poverty communities are falling behind academically while also missing out on opportunities to excel in a well-rounded set of subjects and activities, such as arts, music, physical education, robotics, foreign language, and apprenticeships.


Percent of 8th graders who scored the highest levels on the NAEP reading assessment in 2007:
42% of Caucasian students
15% of Black students
19% of Hispanic students

Schools have the unique opportunity to be an equalizer in our society. With expanded learning time (ELT),  schools in high-poverty communities are able to provide the range of educational and extracurricular opportunities that are often available in-school or out-of- school  for students in higher-income communities. With ELT, all students, regardless of their income level, can gain exposure to a broadened curriculum.

Achievement is also important. For high-poverty schools and districts – especially those already facing chronic under-performance – more time enables a range of strategies to improve teaching and learning, from restoring crucial subjects to the curriculum, to individualizing instruction for students who are falling behind, and creating new opportunities for students to excel.

Gaps in educational achievement between white students and black and Hispanic students have persisted for decades.

  • 42%  of Caucasian 8th graders scored at the proficient or advanced level on the 2007 NAEP reading assessment, compared with 15% of African-American students and 19% of Hispanic students.
  • Students in high-poverty schools with at least 25% more time outperform their peers in schools with less time.
  • Extensive research has shown a link between more learning time and higher student achievement.