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Examining The Achievement Gap Between White And Black Students In Alabama

While test scores in Alabama schools generally mirror poverty levels, poverty is only one factor, research has shown. 

The Alabama state department of education’s chief academic officer Dr. Barbara Cooper is charged with improving achievement for the 730,000 students in Alabama’s public schools. 

Even though black students in affluent areas perform better than black students in impoverished areas, there is still a gap, Cooper said.

The achievement gap, as we refer to it here, is the difference in proficiency levels of black students and white students. Statewide, that gap is large, between 20 and 30 percentage points in any given subject area.