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The Production of Achievement Inequality in High School English

William J. Carbonaro
University of Notre Dame
Adam Gamoran
University of Wisconsin, Madison

ABSTRACT  

Does unequal access to high quality English instruction lead to unequal achievement outcomes for students? Four key aspects of high quality instruction—quantity of assignments, coherence of instruction, student voice in curricular and pedagogical issues, and the content of instruction—are examined to see whether each aspect affects growth in reading achievement from grades 8 to 12. Analyses indicate that content has the most substantial impact on achievement growth: greater emphasis on analytical writing is associated with greater growth in reading scores. Overall, these measures of instructional practices partially explain why students’ track position and reading achievement are related.

* American Educational Research Journal, 39(4), 2002.

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