The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University


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"Closing the Achievement Gap: Strategies for Excellence with Equity"

The Summer Institute at the Graduate School of Education

July 8-July 12, 2018

Click here for more information and to register


What You Will Learn

Learn how to raise achievement levels for all students—while narrowing the gaps between groups—by increasing teacher, student and family engagement. Return to your school or district with a concrete strategy to engage key stakeholders in striving for excellence with equity.

Program Overview

Closing the Achievement Gap focuses on contemporary frameworks used to understand instructional quality, student engagement, youth development, parenting and leadership in racially diverse communities. Challenges of responding effectively to racial, ethnic and socio-economic differences within school communities will receive special attention. Using a socio-ecological approach, you will consider the interdependence of each stakeholder’s role in raising student achievement and closing gaps. You will gain a firm understanding of how your school community can strategically and effectively work together with shared goals for improved student outcomes.

The program features research findings from the Tripod Project for school improvement, which surveys students and teachers around the nation in an effort to understand how they experience teaching and learning. Findings are often surprising and have important implications for our schools. For example, many students pretend they are not trying and do not care, when neither is actually the case. Findings such as these are featured in the program and have important implications for leadership in diverse schools and classrooms.

Prior to the program, you will have access to a Harvard-designed online research tool you can use to collect perspectives from local stakeholders on key issues in your school or district. Using ideas from the program and the survey data, you will outline an action plan to engage others toward accomplishing your goals when you return home.



Ronald Ferguson, Harvard University

Michele Brooks, Boston Public Schools

Elizabeth City, Harvard University

Karen Mapp, Harvard University

Jon Saphier, Research for Better Teaching