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Report: Achievement Gaps Higher in East End

The Bluegrass Institute has released a report showing the largest achievement gaps in Jefferson County Public Schools occur in classrooms in the eastern part of the county.The policy group created the report for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), which is urging lawmakers to approve charter schools. Charters were rejected by the General Assembly this past legislative session, but some believe the issue made progress.“Let’s bring somebody into this state that has a proven record that will make a difference with our children,” said Pastor Jerry Stephenson, Louisville's BAEO coordinator. The current education system isn’t working and the despair of the education system can be seen in the violence in certain West Louisville neighborhoods, he said.The report shows African American graduation rates in schools East of I-65 are often lower than Caucasian graduation rates, and vice versa for white students in schools West of I-65. The highest achievement gaps between the two groups occurred in the east end, said Stephenson.“It’s going to blow people’s minds to see the kinds of things in this report. It’s mind boggling,” he said.Both BAEO and the Bluegrass Institute agree that charter schools have worked in other states to cut achievement gaps. Conflicting reports exist for charters, but those who advocated for the reforms this year, say the issue will come up again in 2013.