Wisconsin Public Television’s 30-minute documentary “Bridging the Gap,” which will air at 10 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 20) on WPNE-TV, should hold special interest at UW-Green Bay. Howe Elementary on our city’s East Side is one of two schools held up as success stories in bridging the achievement gap. Howe has had historically strong partnerships with UW-Green Bay researchers, students, faculty and staff.
The “gap” in the documentary’s title refers to data showing students from economically disadvantaged families score significantly lower on basic skills tests. This gap in achievement is wide, ranging from 20% to 30% in all academic subjects, and there are pronounced differences among racial and ethnic groups. White and Asian students score highest, with Hispanic and African American students struggling to keep pace. The documentary suggests that keys to success are teacher, parental and administrative engagement, culturally responsive materials, school climate and community partnerships.
Eileen Littig, who co-produced the piece with Dean Thomas through NEWIST/CESA 7 and ETP-NEW, credits UW-Green Bay staff members Juliet Cole and Mona Christensen for their help in arranging some of the interviews.