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Persistent Unequal Access to Educational Opportunity in Pennsylvania For K-12 Students

Research for Action’s Educational Opportunity Dashboard is an interactive on-line tool to synthesize data and rank all 50 states by how well they provide students access to schools that offer 14 indicators of educational opportunity from the federal Civil Rights Data Collection.  On the Dashboard the indicators are compiled into an Average Opportunity Score and into three indexes of educational opportunity:

  1. Access to Quality Educators Index,
  2. Access to a Positive School Climate Index, and
  3. Access to a College/Career Readiness Curriculum Index.

This brief highlights how Pennsylvania compares to other states and the nation. We find that, while troubling disparities in access to educational opportunity by race and income exist in most states, the size and pervasiveness of Pennsylvania’s gaps are among the most severe in the country. Inequitable access to educational opportunity, as found in this analysis, likely contributes to Pennsylvania’s achievement gaps, which are among the largest in the country even when controlling for student poverty.

Read the report and then visit the Dashboard to explore the data for Pennsylvania and all 50 states in more detail.