Equity Initiative:

The Program

CUNY Institute for Education Policy

Education Equity Program

American public education aspires to create equal opportunities for all children, regardless of their economic, racial, educational, or linguistic status. However, despite numerous interventions and large scale public spending, many American children still experience unequal access to excellent schools and academic outcomes that reflect, rather than challenge, the disadvantages with which they were born.

This persistent disparity in academic performance among groups of students, or “the achievement gap,” has sponsored a body of research that explores what helps those students most at risk of losing the American dream. The CUNY Institute for Education Policy’s Educational Equity Program exists to catalogue and contribute to this research and to promote an informed public discussion around the practices that work.

The Education Equity Program evaluates scholarship, publishes original empirical research, and convenes researchers, policy-makers, and community stake-holders to discuss the latest findings on the achievement gap. Specific subjects the program explores include:

  1.  Parent Involvement
  2.  Curricular, Instructional, and Academic Rigor
  3.  College Access, Readiness, and Persistence
  4.  Non-Traditional Schools and Models
  5.  Economic Issues
  6.  Social and Cultural Capital

The Program will host a workshop series and support an online library that summarizes and disseminates key research on each of these themes. Our public conference, “Getting in and Staying in: What will Close the College Graduation Achievement Gap?” will be held in New York City on November 5 and 6, 2014. Watch the CUNY Institute for Education Policy’s events page for updates and registration (www.nycedthinktank.org/events/).

The Program is led by Equity Research Fellow Mai Youa Miksic. Ms. Miksic is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies social welfare and education policy. Her current research focuses on early childhood education, specifically the effects of parent involvement and Head Start interventions on student achievement. Her past research has examined the effects of No Child Left Behind on English language learners and immigrant children, and the black-white achievement gap. She holds a B.A. in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MSW from Columbia University.