Richard Buery on The Huffington Post: A New Charter School, A New Approach to Escaping Poverty

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"The lessons we have learned from community schools demonstrate that addressing the growing achievement gap requires a holistic and legitimate effort to refocus the system on children and their needs."

 Despite the hard work of the thousands of dedicated and talented professionals that fill public schools, systemic problems contribute to a growing achievement gap that often leaves minority and low-income families at a serious disadvantage. While there is no one solution, community schools that provide high-quality academic instruction and offer comprehensive social, health, recreational and family services can help level the playing field between rich and poor.

A study published in 2009 shows that the New York State black-white achievement score gap for public school students in fourth grade is 26 points in both mathematics and reading. The 2009 Hispanic-white gap for New York fourth graders is only slightly better at 17 points for mathematics and 25 points for reading.

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