The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University


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Second Annual Conference

Defining the Achievement Gap Challenge:
Rights, Opportunities and Responsibilities  

This Conference was made possible by a grant from Time Warner Inc.
with additional support from the Spencer Foundation

Dates: June 19th and 20th, 2006




June 19th  
10:00 - 10:20
Welcoming Statements
10:20 - 11:15     Racial and Ethnic Gaps are Not Immutable Facts of Nature

Roland G. Fryer, Harvard University, “New Evidence Shows Virtually No Racial Group Differences in Mental Ability at Age One, but Gaps are Present by School Entry.”

  William Dickens, Brookings Institution, “The Black-White IQ Gap Has Narrowed.”

Ronald F. Ferguson, Harvard University, “Racial Gaps at 12th Grade Smaller than in 1970, but Remain Large Even Among the Children of College Educated Parents.”

  Goodwin Liu, Boalt Hall Law School, U. of Calif. at Berkeley, “State-to-State Disparities are Large.”
  Douglas Harris, Florida State University, “Despite Some Claims, High-Achieving High-Poverty Schools are Very Rare.”
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:40  Lifestyle Targets for Transformation:  Youth Cultures and Home Intellectual Climates
  Roland G. Fryer, Harvard University, “New Findings on Acting White, Popularity Penalties and Holding Back Effort Among Black and Hispanic High School Students.”
  Ronald F. Ferguson, Harvard University, “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Home Intellectual Climates.”
  Vivian Louie, Harvard Graduate School of Education, “Achievement-Related Parenting Across Different Immigrant Nationalities.”
  Marcelo and Carola Suárez-Orozco, New York University, “MOVING STORIES: Educational Pathways of Immigrant Youth ”
  Ronald F. Ferguson, Harvard University, “Racial and SES Differences in School Behavior, Engagement and Time on Homework.”
12:40-1:00  Two Short Videos to Discuss over Lunch
1:00-2:00 Lunch
2:00-3:00  Discussion Among Conference Participants:  What Should We be Aspiring toAchieve? 
  Opening Remarks by Glenn C. Loury, Brown University
  Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Moderator
  How will working to reduce achievement gaps affect our politics and quality of life? What do we want lifestyles to be at the middle of the 21st century? What are the risks that discussing racial gaps openly will add to racial stereotypes and stigmas?  How should such risks affect strategies for narrowing gaps?
3:00-3:15            Break
3:15 – 4:00 Gap-Closing Strategic Priorities for Schools and School Systems
  Thomas Kane, Harvard University, “Teacher Quality Matters!”
  Brian Jacob, Harvard University, “Teacher Recruitment, Retention and Assignment.”
  Ronald F. Ferguson, Harvard University, “Class-to-Class Instructional Quality Differences.”
  Jason Snipes, Council of Great City Schools, “Raising Achievement and Narrowing Gaps in Big-City Districts.”
4:00 – 4:30 Priorities for Closing Gaps in College Access and Success
  Janet Quint, MDRC , “Even with Low Scores, Students who Complete 9th Grade On Time are Likely to Graduate from High School:  So Get 9th Grade Right!”
  Bridget Terry Long, Harvard University, “Key Impediments to College Access and Success for Low-Income and Minority Students.”
4:30 – 5:00 Review of Strategic Implications, Preview of Day Two

5:00 – 6:00

Reception Taubman Building Rotunda

June 20th Research Discussion Sessions
9:00 - 10:20 Measuring Test Score Gaps and Associated Trends
  Discussion Kickoff Speakers:
Charles Clotfelter, Duke University
Steven Rivkin (or surrogate), Amherst College
Roland Fryer, Harvard University
Richard Murnane, Harvard University
10:30 - Noon Identity, Culture and Achievement
  Discussion Kickoff Speakers:
John Bishop, Cornell University
Jelani Mandara, Northwestern University
John Diamond, Harvard University
Mica Pollock, Harvard University
Noon - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 What’s Producing Progress in Schools?

Discussion Kickoff Speakers:
Charles Payne, Duke University
Janet Quint, MDRC
Robert Balfanz, Johns Hopkins University

2:00 - 3:00 What’s Producing Progress at Home & Outside Schools?
  Discussion Kickoff Speakers:
Rick Weissbourd, Harvard University
Heather Weiss, Harvard Family Research Project
Edmund Gordon, Columbia University
3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:00 Going Forward in Partnership

Discussion of AGI plans and ideas for how the AGI at Harvard and conference participants
from other institutions might go forward in various forms of partnership.

4:00  Adjourn