An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal looks at the impact of billions of dollars spent to try to narrow the gap in academic achievement between those born into families with the highest and lowest levels of education and household resources.

As Eric A. Hanushek and Paul E. Peterson write,

The gaps have not narrowed over the past 50 years, despite all the money spent on that objective. In 1971, shortly after the launch of the War on Poverty, 14-year-olds in the bottom decile trailed those in the top decile by three to four years worth of school. For those who were born in 2001 and turned 14 in 2015, the gap was still three to four years. Similarly, the 75-25 gap has remained wide—between 2½ and three years.

The op-ed is based on a longer article, “The Achievement Gap Fails to Close,” co-written bu Hanushek, Peterson, Laura M. Talpey and Ludger Woessmann, which is available now at Education Next.

— Education Next

Last updated March 19, 2019