Connecticut must overhaul its education system to narrow the achievement gap among low-income fourth- and eighth-graders that is the nation’s worst, a blue-ribbon state panel says…

In Connecticut, the gap between low-income and non low-income students is wider than that of any other state, the panel appointed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell said. Studies show that 4th and 8th grade low-income students in the state are, on average, roughly three grade-levels or more behind non low-income students in reading and math.

‘There is a misconception that Connecticut’s achievement gap is wide only because our state has some of the nation’s highest-achieving students,’ said Roxanne Coady, President and Founder R. J. Julia Booksellers. ‘But the numbers also show that our low income students are in the bottom third on some key tests compared to low income children in other states. This is also a big contributor to the achievement gap. And it’s important to note that this is not just an urban issue. It exists in most of our towns throughout the state.’

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