Publications & Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2011


STEM, excellence gap, student performance, underprivileged minorities, student assessment


The Growing Excellence Gap in K-12 Education, Plucker, Burroughs, and Song (2010) provided compelling evidence that "the presence of an excellence gap is demonstrated on both national and state assessments of student performance," with "economically disadvantaged, English Language Learners, and historically underprivileged minorities representing a smaller proportion of students scoring at the highest levels of achievement" (p. 28). Three "case stories" of students from IMSA illuminate some of the (a) challenges and opportunities inherent in igniting STEM talent in urban youth and ensuring their success; (b) principles for designing and creating learning experiences and environments that ignite and nurture the development of "creative, ethical scientific minds" (IMSA, 2009); and (c) institutional lessons that have become clear to us after more than two decades of developing diverse STEM talent.



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