It’s on us to disrupt the opportunity crisis

Despite spending about 1,200 hours in school per year and doing what is asked of them, most students are not academically on track for college and career.  Students of color and students from households with less wealth are least likely to have consistent access to quality teaching leading to disproportionate gaps in opportunity.

Teaching is the most influential within-school factor for a student’s success, but most of the content and teaching students experience is below grade level.

  • In a recent study of five school systems, TNTP found that of the 180 classroom hours in each core subject per school year, students spent 133 hours on assignments that were not grade appropriate.

  • 151 of 180 classroom hours in core subjects provided students with weak instruction.

What We Know About What Students Know

U.S. school systems are on the rise, with many experiencing sustained gains in graduation and student achievement, but countless data also show us that we are failing to provide equitable access to opportunity to every student. Students of color and students from households with less wealth are experiencing persistent differences in outcomes as the result of systemic failures despite having the capability and potential to reach high expectations. To deliver on commitments to equity, school systems need solutions to accelerate growth.

  • On the 2017 NAEP Assessments, scores for black students in the 8th grade were 32 points lower than those of their white peers in math and 25 points lower in reading.

  • Scores for Hispanic/Latinx students in the 8th grade were 24 points lower than those of their white peers in math and 19 points lower in reading.

  • Scores for students who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program in the 8th grade were 29 points lower than those of wealthier peers in math and 24 points lower in reading.

  • More than 4 in 10 students of color who do enter college are required to take developmental math and English courses at an annual societal cost of $7 billion (Community College Research Center, 2009).

Expanding opportunity (and improving equity) starts with better supports for excellent teaching

New learning standards demand more rigor, both in the depth of content knowledge and in how students engage with grade-appropriate assignments. Supporting the 3.2 million teachers in our public schools to meet that challenge starts with breaking down the walls between classrooms to create collaborative opportunities to build knowledge in what to teach and the best ways to teach it.

We know the resources needed to manage large-scale change are significant, and we aim to be a partner to school system leaders as they navigate building the capacity for enduring improvement.