Erasing the Opportunity Gap
Each day children in poverty attend schools whose resources don't match up to those found in schools in more affluent areas of a district. Disparities in these resources—the distribution of principals and teachers by experience and credentials, the placement of new buildings and ongoing refurbishment, the availability of Advanced Placement courses, and school counselor-student ratio—can influence the quality of education profoundly. Their cumulative effect is an opportunity gap that gives well-off students generally better chances of academic success.
Georgia Appleseed contributed to the Appleseed Foundation report, The Same Starting Line: How School Boards Can Erase the Opportunity Gap Between Poor and Middle-Class Children. The study examined policies and practice related to the dissemination of learning-related education resources in select school districts in five states, including Cobb County, Georgia. The report recommends that school boards and communities measure resource equity using Appleseed's Resource Equity Assessment Document (READ). It also recommends policies to maximize equity and assure accountability.