In the News

Media mentions of SEDA's work

November 28, 2022

Pandemic Learning Loss: The Role Remote Learning Played

“In a sophisticated analysis of thousands of public school districts in 29 states, researchers at Harvard and Stanford Universities found that poverty played an even bigger role in academic declines during the pandemic.”

Read more at The New York Times

November 23, 2022

The science on remote schooling is now clear. Here’s who it hurt most.

“Academic progress for American children plunged during the coronavirus pandemic. Now a growing body of research shows who was hurt the most, both confirming worst fears and adding some new ones.”

Read more at The Washington Post

November 6, 2022

Opinion: No straight line links remote learning to lower achievement

The recent release of national scores showing drops in math and reading sparked criticisms of how long school districts remained virtual during the pandemic. Are those criticisms fair?

Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

October 31, 2022

Students Face Massive Learning Curve After Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be winding down, the average student is now half a year behind in math skills and a quarter of a year behind in reading skills, a new analysis of standardized test data shows. Districts with mostly poor students were impacted even more severely, according to the recently released Education Recovery Scorecard. “When you have a massive crisis, the worst effects end up being felt by the people with the least resources,” Stanford University researcher Sean Reardon, EdD, told The Associated Press.”

Read more at WebMD

October 28, 2022

Stanford-Harvard 'scorecard' translates California's test scores into months of missed learning

A massive data project by researchers at Harvard and Stanford universities, released Friday, has converted national and state test scores into the equivalent measure of learning decline during the pandemic for every school district and student group in California and 28 other states. The interactive data in the Education Recovery Scorecard confirm, in clear and stark terms, the disparities in performance and learning loss among states, districts within states and racial, ethnic and income groups within districts for grades three to eight.

Read more at EdSource

October 28, 2022

COVID-19 pandemic massively set back learning, especially for high-poverty areas

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated poor children’s well-being, not just by closing their schools, but also by taking away their parents’ jobs, sickening their families and teachers, and adding chaos and fear to their daily lives. The scale of the disruption to American kids’ education is evident in a district-by-district analysis of test scores shared exclusively with The Associated Press.

Read more at PBS Newshour

October 24, 2022

Math Scores Fell in Nearly Every State, and Reading Dipped on National Exam

U.S. students in most states and across almost all demographic groups have experienced troubling setbacks in both math and reading, according to an authoritative national exam released on Monday, offering the most definitive indictment yet of the pandemic’s impact on millions of schoolchildren.

Read more at The New York Times

August 4, 2022

Dallas parents flocking to schools that pull students from both rich and poor parts of town

“Whether students in 50/50 schools will continue to achieve at higher rates remains to be seen, but data shows that students in general perform better when they attend socioeconomically diverse schools. Academically, this may benefit low-income students the most. In a National Assessment of Educational Progress math test administered in 2017, low-income fourth graders in more affluent schools scored about two years ahead of low-income students in high-poverty schools. According to research by Reardon, at Stanford, segregation is one of the most potent contributors to ethnic achievement gaps.”

Read more at The Hechinger Report

June 13, 2022

Stanford and USC Researchers launch new "Segregation Index" tool to track U.S. neighborhood and school segregation

The Segregation Index, launched May 2022, is a comprehensive resource for tracking neighborhood and school segregation in the U.S., across every neighborhood and school. The project shows that since the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, U.S. schools remain highly segregated by race/ethnicity and economic status, most segregation occurs between school districts (though segregation within districts has also increased over time), and segregation is growing in the nation’s largest districts. Access longitudinal datasets, research papers, methodological information, and code for researchers at segindex.org.

Read more at The Segregation Index

November 27, 2021

In Minneapolis Schools, White Families Are Asked to Help Do the Integrating

"Research has shown that integration can deliver benefits for all children … Racially segregated schools, on the other hand, are associated with larger gaps in student performance, because they tend to concentrate students of color in high poverty environments … 'There is not a single school district in the U.S. that is even moderately segregated that does not have a large achievement gap,'' said Sean Reardon, the lead author on the paper and the director of the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University.""

Read more at The New York Times

August 27, 2021

A Discussion with Dr. Sean Reardon about Educational Opportunity in the U.S.

"We spoke to Dr. Reardon to learn more about the insights SEDA can offer states, districts, and schools, and how it could help in the work to fight inequality in education. His remarks touched on how to develop more sophisticated measures of poverty and inequality; the opportunities for state, district, and school leaders to learn from one another; the need for policymakers to take a broader view of inequalities in education; and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our efforts to measure student learning. "

Read more at The National Center on Education and the Economy

June 20, 2021

Surprising gains in 5 school districts you’ve never heard of, plus Chicago

"Reardon and his team spent four years plotting on graphs nearly all U.S. school districts based on their students’ socioeconomic standing and academic achievement. [Columnist Karen] Chenoweth looked for districts where achievement was better than socioeconomics would have predicted. She visited those places to see what was going on."

Read more at Washington Post

June 10, 2021

The Bureau of Indian Education Hasn’t Told the Public How Its Schools Are Performing. So We Did It Instead

"A comprehensive analysis of school performance data by Stanford University’s Educational Opportunity Project, The Arizona Republic and ProPublica reveals for the first time bright spots and problem areas facing an agency that oversees more than 180 schools and dormitories across Indian Country."

Read more at ProPublica

June 9, 2021

How We Analyzed the Performance of Bureau of Indian Education Schools

"Until now, most parents whose children attended schools funded by the federal Bureau of Indian Education couldn’t accurately compare the performance of their school to others. But a comprehensive analysis by Stanford University’s Educational Opportunity Project, The Arizona Republic and ProPublica has filled that gap."

Read more at ProPublica

March 2, 2021

Study Finds Parents’ Online School Reviews Correlated with Test Scores and Demographics, Not School Effectiveness

"A first-of-its-kind analysis of parents’ reviews of U.S. public K–12 schools, posted primarily from 2009 to 2019 on the popular school information site GreatSchools.org, found that most reviews were written by parents at schools in affluent neighborhoods and provided information that correlated strongly with test scores, a measure that closely tracks race and family income. Language associated with school effectiveness, which measures how much students improve in their test scores over time and is less correlated with demographics, was much less used. The research was published by AERA Open, a peer-reviewed, open access journal of the American Educational Research Association."

Read more at AERA

February 22, 2021

To help low-income students, build more affordable housing in high-performing school districts, report says

"Massachusetts and other New England states should create more affordable housing in suburbs with high-performing schools to expand educational opportunities for low-income students, according to a report released Monday that said New England has among the widest achievement gaps nationwide."

Read more at Boston Globe

February 17, 2021

Race and the American City

"How did American communities become segregated by race and income, and what are the consequences? Which parts of the country are doing better than others? And what policy solutions do we have for segregation and its ill effects? Join the conversation with Stanford education professor Sean Reardon and Ohio State economist Trevon Logan."

Read more at The Ethiscope Podcast

June 29, 2020

A decade of research on the rich-poor divide in education

"Sociologists like Sean Reardon at Stanford University and Ann Owens at the University of Southern California have built a body of evidence that school segregation by income is what’s really getting worse in America, not school segregation by race."

Read more at The Hechinger Report

June 25, 2020

Chamber of Commerce report breaks down education, other opportunity gaps by the numbers

"A study ​released last year by The Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University concluded — after an examination of tests taken by white, Black and Hispanic students nationwide — that poverty is the common factor impacting U.S. achievement gaps."

Read more at Education Dive

June 23, 2020

Will the 2021 Nation's Report Card Be Another Coronavirus Casualty?

"Sean Reardon, professor of poverty and inequality in education at Stanford University, uses NAEP data to track patterns of opportunity and achievement gaps across states. Reardon said he would be concerned about differences in test administrations and different response rates of students in different states, but said without NAEP, even states that are able to administer their own tests next year will not be able to compare their policies and outcomes to those in other states."

Read more at Education Week

June 16, 2020

School Districts’ Remote-Learning Plans May Widen Student Achievement Gap

"The Covid-19 pandemic is arguably the largest disruption America’s K–12 education system has ever faced. For students, this disruption—and the differences in districts’ response to it—will harm academic achievement and likely exacerbate longstanding achievement gaps ... To divide districts by student achievement, I used data from the Educational Opportunity Project at the Stanford Education Data Archive, which offer comparable measures of student math and reading achievement based on state tests from school years 2009 to 2016."

Read more at Education Next

April 15, 2020

Achievement Gaps and Racial Disparities in Special Education

"How might U.S. school districts be more appropriately monitored for potential bias in their disability identification practices? We recently examined this by merging and then analyzing three national datasets [including] ... the Stanford Education Data Archive."

Read more at Psychology Today

February 14, 2020

Desegregation in Greenville schools: Achievement gap slowly closing, but inequities persist

"Sean Reardon, a researcher at Stanford University, has been studying the correlation between poverty and achievement gaps for years. Reardon and a team of researchers published a study in September that says the achievement gap between minority and white students comes down to achievement gaps between students who live in poverty and those who don't."

Read more at Greenville News

February 10, 2020

Test scores, learning rates tell different student achievement stories in Michigan’s poorest schools

"A study done by researchers at Stanford University, shows the tired tale of poor students scoring lower on standardized tests is still alive in Michigan’s public schools. However, the results also show that some of these poorer districts are improving at rates equal to or higher than more affluent districts. "

Read more at Michigan Advance

February 7, 2020

Mind the achievement gap: California’s disparities in education, explained

"A recent study by Stanford researchers found student achievement gaps are mainly driven by school poverty — not a school’s racial composition. 'Racial segregation appears to be harmful because it concentrates minority students in high-poverty schools, which are, on average, less effective than lower-poverty schools,' the study found."

Read more at CalMatters

February 6, 2020

How Unequal Discipline Hurts Black Students

Students of color are suspended at disproportionately higher rates than white students and, on average, perform more poorly on standardized tests. But no peer-reviewed nationwide research has documented a link between the two disparities—until now.

Read more at Greater Good Magazine (UC Berkeley)

January 7, 2020

Across the U.S., There Are Stark Differences in Opportunity for Students. Accessible Data Tools Can Illuminate These Gaps

"The differences between Chatham and Commerce come into sharp relief with new data tools such the Opportunity Explorer by the Education Opportunity Project at Stanford University. This tool allows users to search for all schools in the nation and compare them using the same metrics."

Read more at The 74 Million

January 6, 2020

Salem kids learn more than U.S. average, national Stanford study finds

A first-ever study looking at student test scores across the U.S. found Salem-Keizer students do worse than the average American kid on reading and math tests. Though they improve more year over year, it's not enough to close the gap.

Read more at Salem Reporter

November 22, 2019

In Mississippi, an Unlikely Model for School Desegregation

The community of Clinton made a bold move in 1971 with its public schools. Nearly 50 years later, the approach is being hailed by educators and researchers alike.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

October 17, 2019

Can Big Data Help Us Solve Inequality In Education?

"A big data project led by Stanford University's Sean Reardon aims to crack the code on our nation’s stubborn student achievement gaps by mapping race, ethnicity, poverty and academic test scores."

Read more at KALW

October 4, 2019

To Shrink Achievement Gap, Integrate School Districts

"Does segregation still matter? When it comes to educating our nation’s school children, the answer is yes, according to research published last week by the Stanford University Center for Education Policy Analysis."

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

September 26, 2019

What are the best schools near you? A new tool from Stanford has the most accurate answer

"A decade ago Sean Reardon, a professor at Stanford, embarked on a slightly insane project to compile and standardize test scores from every public school in the US. Having that data, he and his colleagues thought, would reveal the real gaps in achievement between rich and poor, black and white, boys and girls, and other groups."

Read more at Quartz

September 24, 2019

U.S. minority students concentrated in high-poverty schools: study

"Segregation in U.S. public education has concentrated black and Hispanic children into high-poverty schools with few resources, leading to an achievement gap between minority and white students, a nationwide study showed on Tuesday."

Read more at Reuters

September 23, 2019

School poverty – not racial composition – limits educational opportunity, according to new research at Stanford

"Racial segregation leads to growing achievement gaps – but it does so entirely through differences in school poverty, according to new research from education Professor Sean Reardon, who is launching a new tool to help educators, parents and policymakers examine education trends by race and poverty level nationwide."

Read more at Stanford News

September 23, 2019

New Data Tool Rates 'Educational Opportunity' Offered in Nation's Schools, Districts

"An interactive data tool from the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University creates the first database that attempts to measure the performance of every elementary and middle school in the country."

Read more at Education Week

September 23, 2019

Poverty levels in schools key determinant of achievement gaps, not racial or ethnic composition, study finds

"While racial and ethnic segregation in the nation’s schools is strongly correlated with gaps in academic achievement, the income level of students’ families in a school rather than its racial or ethnic composition account for those gaps, according to a new study."

Read more at EdSource

September 23, 2019

The Educational Opportunity Project (Stanford Video)

"The Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University is an initiative directed by Sean Reardon aimed at supporting efforts to reduce educational disparities throughout the United States."

Read more at Youtube

September 23, 2019

First National Database of Academic Performance Launches

"A new interactive data tool from the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University will provide extraordinary access to information about academic performance across schools and districts throughout the United States."

Read more at Harvard Graduate School of Education

September 23, 2019

Achievement gaps in schools driven by poverty, study finds

"High concentrations of poverty, not racial segregation, entirely account for the racial achievement gap in U.S. schools, a new study finds."

Read more at The Washington Post

September 23, 2019

An analysis of achievement gaps in every school in America shows that poverty is the biggest hurdle

"A Stanford study finds that racial segregation matters because black and Hispanic students are concentrated in high poverty schools."

Read more at The Hechinger Report

October 16, 2018

'You Are Still Black': Charlottesville's Racial Divide Hinders Students

"About a third of the 25 districts with the widest achievement disparities between white and black students are in or near college towns, according to a review of data compiled by researchers at Stanford University. Affluent families in university towns invest a large proportion of their resources in their children’s education, said Sean Reardon, a professor of education at Stanford."

Read more at The New York Times

August 6, 2018

School Policies and the Success of Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students

"Important recent work by Reardon and his collaborators shows that not only test scores but also racial test score gaps vary dramatically across American school districts. In this latter paper, Reardon and coauthors report that while racial/ethnic test score gaps average around 0.6 standard deviations across all school districts, in some districts the gaps are almost nonexistent while in others they exceed 1.2 standard deviations."

Read more at Education Next

April 17, 2018

New Chicago schools chief faces challenges despite major strides

"Chicago Public Schools, one of the largest school systems in the country, is reporting academic improvement in spite of past troubles. Now city leaders are looking to new CEO Janice Jackson to keep things moving forward. Sean Reardon: "The growth rate from third to eighth grade in Chicago is the fastest among the 100 large districts in the United States. It is number one."

Read more at PBS News Hour

January 16, 2018

Stanford professor finds income not the main determinant of public school effectiveness

"A study by Sean F. Reardon, professor of poverty and inequality in education at the Graduate School of Education, found that socioeconomic status in U.S. public school districts only weakly correlated with growth in students’ average test scores over time. Reardon told Business Insider that students’ rate of test score improvement over time is a better measure of a given school’s effectiveness."

Read more at Stanford Daily

January 8, 2018

A Stanford study of 45 million students found something startling about which kids succeed

"There are many relatively high-poverty school districts where students appear to be learning at a faster rate than kids in other, less poor districts," Reardon said in a statement. "Poverty clearly does not determine the quality of a school system."

Read more at Business Insider

December 5, 2017

Stanford University study: Rochester schools last in U.S. in growth

"A novel, large-scale study from Stanford University shows Rochester-area primary schools are dead last among the 200 largest cities in the country for academic growth. The study, from Stanford's Center for Education Policy Analysis, examines standardized test score results for all Rochester children and reports the apparent progress by cohort year — that is, how much more 2017 eighth-graders know compared to 2016 seventh-graders."

Read more at Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

December 5, 2017

How Effective Is Your School District? A New Measure Shows Where Students Learn the Most

"In the Chicago Public Schools system, enrollment has been declining, the budget is seldom enough, and three in four children come from low-income homes, a profile that would seemingly consign the district to low expectations. But students here appear to be learning faster than those in almost every other school system in the country, according to new data from researchers at Stanford."

Read more at The New York Times

December 5, 2017

Students' early test scores do not predict academic growth over time, Stanford research finds

"There are many relatively high-poverty school districts where students appear to be learning at a faster rate than kids in other, less poor districts,” said Reardon, who holds an endowed professorship in Poverty and Inequality in Education. “Poverty clearly does not determine the quality of a school system."

Read more at Stanford Report

July 24, 2017

Some Schools Much Better Than Others at Closing Achievement Gaps Between Their Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students

"Important new work by Reardon and his collaborators shows that not only test scores but also racial test score gaps vary dramatically across American school districts. In this latter paper, Reardon and coauthors report that while racial/ethnic test score gaps average around 0.6 standard deviations across all school districts, in some districts the gaps are almost nonexistent while in others they exceed 1.2 standard deviations"

Read more at Education Next

July 7, 2017

Examining the achievement gap between white and black students in Alabama

"Stanford's Educational Opportunity Monitoring Project has dug deeply into available data, searching for what other factors beyond poverty might be influencing the black-white achievement gap. Researcher Sean Reardon studied the multiple factors that contribute to the gap, using more than 200 million test scores from schools and districts across the country. Reardon and his fellow researchers wanted to see which factors are most closely correlated with the achievement gap. They looked at two sets of factors that account for about three-fourths of the gap."

Read more at AL.com

February 9, 2017

Integration Works. Can It Survive the Trump Era?

"The strongest correlates of achievement gaps are local racial/ethnic differences in parental income, local average parental education levels, and patterns of racial/ethnic segregation, consistent with a theoretical model in which family socioeconomic factors affect educational opportunity partly though residential and school segregation patterns."

Read more at The New York Times

May 4, 2016

Why Is There A Huge Academic-Achievement Gap Between White Students And Their Peers Of Color?

We may be living at a time when education should be readily available for everyone, but knowledge still appears to be hard to come by. A new research suggests that black and Latino students are still a few grade levels behind their white classmates.

Stanford University conducted an educational study on the test scores of around 40 million US students and discovered that students of color had lower scores than white students. In addition to that, the academic-achievement gap between white and colored students was even greater in wealthy university towns like Evanston in Illinois and Berkeley in California.

Read more at Parent Herald

May 4, 2016

When it comes to student performance, study shows this Massachusetts town is a notch above

Sean Reardon, the author of the Stanford study—”The Geography of Racial/Ethnic Test Score Gaps”—noted that Lexington is among the richest communities in the nation. Just below Lexington on the chart are other wealthy Massachusetts suburbs—including Belmont, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Newton, Shrewsbury, Sudbury and Wincester—all of which achieve more than three grades above the national average. "On average, school districts in Massachusetts, whether they’re poor or middle class or affluent, tend to do better than similar school districts around the country in terms of test scores,” he said.

Read more at Boston.com

April 29, 2016

Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares

"Mr. Reardon said the analysis should not be used to rank districts or schools. Test scores reflect not just the quality of schools or their teachers, but all kinds of other factors in children’s lives, including their home environment; whether they attended a good preschool; traumas they have experienced; and whether their parents read to them at night or hire tutors."

Read more at The New York Times