Academic achievement gap plaguing Arizona’s foster children

| October 19, 2016

By Brielle McDougall and Celisse Jones • Special to the Mesa Independent

Arizona students in the foster care system are consistently underperforming academically according to a 2012-13 report on Arizona’s Invisible Achievement Gap by WestEd.

This report was sponsored by FosterEd Arizona and the Arizona Community Foundation in the hopes of bringing to light the challenges foster children face academically. This previously undocumented achievement gap compares foster students’ academic outcomes to other students.

Students in foster care are a distinct subgroup of academically at-risk students who are “especially at risk for school failure, as evidenced by poor grades and high rates of absenteeism, grade retention, disciplinary referrals, and dropping out of high school,” according to the report.

The educational needs of these students sometimes are unrecognized due to the little amounts of statewide information about their education.

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