Educational achievement drives life outcomes.

Roland Fryer explains how controlling for differences in educational achievement dramatically reduces racial disparities across a range of important life outcomes. Equalizing racial differences in eighth-grade academic achievement would substantially reduce aspects of inequality ranging from teen pregnancy rates to income disparities, while spurring significant economic growth.

The achievement gap is not detectable at birth.

After controlling for socioeconomic factors and home environment, there are no discernible differences in mental ability among infants from different racial backgrounds. This graph shows how closely test score distributions are aligned for 9-month olds—regardless of race—suggesting a meaningful opportunity to close the achievement gap through strategic policy interventions.

There is a startling relationship between zip code and school quality.

Six decades after Brown vs. Board, access to a quality education is still far too dependent upon where students live. This graph shows the close relationship between neighborhood income and average test scores among New York City eighth graders.

Great schools can close the achievement gap.

Can schools alone overcome the significant learning obstacles faced by children growing up in poverty? Our analysis of the Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy Charter Schools offers new evidence in a long-standing debate, suggesting that high-quality schools do have the power to close the racial achievement gap.

Improving achievement is not just about resources.

We identified five key tenets that high-impact charter schools share – practices that collectively account for roughly half of the variation in charter school effectiveness. Evidence suggests that these practices could yield greater learning gains than conventional strategies like class-size reduction or requiring teachers to hold advanced degrees.

Applying Charter School Practices in District Schools: Apollo 20 in Houston