DC has one of the largest achievement gap in the Nation. DC also has one of the starkest poverty divides in the Nation.
Can expanding Language Immersion options throughout the District narrow the opportunity gap? Children of wealthier parents might have Spanish speaking nannies, private language tutors, will go travel with their families, or might even go study abroad. But for most of the other children not having a second language will mean not having the same chances at getting into college or landing a job. Language Immersion programs could be an effective way to increase achievement while narrowing the opportunity gap.
NAEP data shows that African American fourth-graders in the District scored, on average, 62 scale points lower in reading and 55 scale points lower in math than their white classmates. This is the largest achievement gap in the United States and is more than double the national average. The same is true for the achievement gap in eighth grade. Among African American and white eighth-graders in the District, there was a 54-point difference in average reading scores and a 52-point difference in average math scores. These too are the largest achievement gaps in the nation. Based on this disproportionate performance on NAEP, the Committee encourages OSSE to develop interventions that focus on improving educational outcomes for our lowest achieving student populations. (Committee on Education FY2013 Oversight Report)