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Unequal Access to Educational Opportunity Among Pennsylvania’s High School Students

Pennsylvania’s students consistently score above the national average on overall student achievement. However, the state’s achievement gaps between White students and Black and Hispanic students are consistently among the worst in the country, even when controlling for gaps in family income, poverty, unemployment, and parental educational attainment. Inequitable access to educational opportunity may contribute to Pennsylvania’s achievement gaps.

In this brief, we highlight the findings from RFA’s Educational Opportunity Dashboard to discuss how Pennsylvania compares to other states in providing high school students with access to schools that provide high quality educational opportunities.

The bottom line is this: while troubling race and income disparities in access to educational opportunity exist in most states, the size and pervasiveness of PA’s gaps are among the most severe in the country.