Education Inequality: An Issue of Civil Rights

The Problem

Data Source: Blackboard Institute’s “Closing the Gap between High School and College”// Image source: Tutors for All

Data Source: Blackboard Institute’s “Closing the Gap between High School and College”// Image source: Tutors for All

In the US, fewer than 2 in 10 public school ninth-graders will graduate with a post-secondary degree.

In Boston, the numbers are even more troubling. Only 7.5% (225 out of 3,019) of students who entered the 9th grade in 2003, are projected to graduate from a 2- or 4-year college.

The economic implications of this are devastating.

In today’s world, a college degree serves as a baseline credential for entry into the middle class. In 2011, the average income of a college graduate was $26,000 more than the average income of a high school graduate, according to the US Census Bureau. Given this economic reality, any intervention that that can double or triple a public school student’s chance of college completion needs to be expanded.

Over the past 8 years, our programs have had dramatic success bridging the Achievement Gap between Title I schools and their high-income counterparts. Our students have been overwhelmingly (>95%) of color, predominantly (>70%) below the poverty line, and on average 4-5 years behind their suburban counterparts in fundamental academic skills. Our work has altered the educational and economic trajectory of hundreds of young people, and successfully demonstrated that demography is not destiny.

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Tutors for All bridges the achievement gap one student at a time. Through bringing together colleges, schools, and community resources, we offer underserved students the systematic individualized instruction they need in order to thrive.

Our programs transform the lives of Boston youth and the college students who tutor them. In the process, they are establishing large-scale individualized instruction as one of very few educational interventions successfully preparing underserved students for success in college and beyond.

How are we closing the Achievement Gap?