Majority of Factors Driving Achievement Gaps Come from Outside of Schools: Scholarly consensus on factors contributing to achievement gaps

Gap Driver Proportion
In-school factors 20%
Out-of-school factors 60%
Misc./random error 20%

Source: This chart reflects a rough consensus among education scholars, drawing on James Coleman's 1966 report that achievement gaps were driven largely by out-of-school poverty- and segregation-related factors; on work by Richard Rothstein (2004), David Berliner (2009), and Paul Barton and Richard Coley (2009) on the impact of poverty on achievement gaps; on Alexander, Entwistle, and Olsen (2007) regarding summer learning loss; and on findings by Eric Hanushek (2007) that 10% at most of differences in test scores are attributable to differences in teacher quality.

View the underlying data on epi.org.