Reviews

Bridging the Achievement Gap, Second Edition

"This is a great book focused on the dialogue of helping students win. The dialogue talks less about competition and more about collaboration. The essence of the charter school movement was to create a system that would allow for innovation in addressing student achievement in public education. In Chapter 5, 'The Solution' offers educators and parents solutions to closing the Achievement and Opportunity Gaps that have long plagued students of color, whether that student attends a charter school or a traditional comprehensive school. Thank you Rex Fortune for focusing on solutions and not casting blame."
Mike Walsh, California School Board Association
“Rex Fortune is interested in what works, and why we aren’t doing more of it. By looking at California public schools where students outperform similar peers at other schools, and asking what those high-performing schools have in common (strong leadership, engaged teachers, involved parents), Dr. Fortune demonstrates that the Achievement Gap is a measure not of the limits of the students’ ability, but of the adults’ imagination and political will. He offers concrete suggestions for eliminating the Gap, from the politically difficult – changing the state school funding formula – to the heartbreakingly achievable – producing and using systematic, on-going research about what works. No one who cares about equity in education can afford to ignore this clear, powerful book.”
Dr. Jeffrey D. Armstrong, President, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
“After many years of experience as an educational practitioner and researcher, I have concluded that African American students attend institutions that are structurally ill-equipped to meet their basic academic needs. Any efforts to close the Achievement Gap must focus on system/structural level reform, versus creating new programs. Toward this end, I am excited about the Second Edition of Bridging Achievement Gap. Rex Fortune places the schooling structure at the center of his analysis, which is particularly evident in his call to reform legislation through the modification of California Education Code 42238.02 to include all African American students. This is bold and critical new step will provide the necessary resources and attention towards African American students. It has the potential to substantively move the needle for outcomes with the hope of finally bridging the Gap.”
Dr. Edward C. Bush, President, Cosumnes River College
“I strongly encourage all who have interest in issues related to bridging the Achievement Gap in our public education system to read Rex Fortune’s new book. He highlights the successful practices that many public schools, including charter schools, are implementing to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the Achievement Gap, and rightly focuses on the need to advocate with greater courage for the kinds of reforms and resources needed for underserved students to access high-quality options to reach their potential.”
Jed Wallace, President and CEO, California Charter Schools Association
“Through his continued pursuit and passion, Rex Fortune has identified compelling research that can immediately be used by educators to assist in closing the Achievement Gap. Dr. Fortune’s book reveals real-world strategies used by current educational institutions that are successfully closing the Achievement Gap.”
Scott Loehr, Superintendent, Center Unified School District
“Education in the United States falls short compared to other countries. There is a huge gap in academic achievement for American students, but specifically students of color. The question is how and when will we bridge the Achievement Gap? Rex Fortune has identified a plausible solution in the Second Edition. I urge you to read this amazing book, support and join the efforts of educators to identify appropriate “high needs” groups and allow for new laws to implement change. Failure is not an option for our students.”
Ramona R. Wilder, CEO, Wilder’s Preparatory Academy
“These independent school studies demonstrate the reproducibility of the science and art of Quality Education, which provides a basis for closing or eliminating the Achievement Gap. If we know about the Gap and care about the Gap, then collectively we must act with agency and urgency to eliminate the Gap. These schools verify and provide proof that it can be done – if there is a collective will.”
Eugene Fisher, Founder, Watts Learning Center
“It is very important that those of us responsible for millions of children in public schools take personal interest and responsibility for the success and failure of our children. The Second Edition of Bridging the Achievement Gap calls all stakeholders to the task of high expectations and results. Without clear objectives and strategies, we flounder and fail our children. As legislators, this book should embolden us to lead and not follow. Our children are depending on us.”
Dr. Shirley Weber, Member, California State Assembly
“By understanding that policy and funding are associated with best practices, teacher and leader preparation programs are able to develop pathways for research such as Bridging the Achievement Gap, Second Edition. These pathways facilitate an equitable decision-making process, ensuring educational supports for high-needs populations as with Assembly Bill 2635.”
Dr. Kristy Pruitt, Director of Teacher Education, Fortune School of Education