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How the Practices of Schools of Opportunity Illustrate Recent Research on Learning

The Schools of Opportunity Project recognized schools that close opportunity gaps for students. The uneven distribution of resources in education systems drives opportunity gaps, limiting the educational experience of some students and frequently resulting in inequitable outcomes. This policy memo shares examples of schools excelling in two criteria of the Schools of Opportunity project, to demonstrate the positive connections between those school practices and recent research on human learning. One of these criteria involves the restrictive impact of tracking on school culture, and the need to create a supportive learning culture by closely examining and revising practices that may have been long-standing in tracked courses. The other criterion focuses on the benefits that emerge from developing a challenging, culturally relevant curriculum. This policy memo shows how school leaders and policymakers can look to recognized Schools of Opportunity as guides for how to proactively reframe learning goals and outcome measures.

Suggested Citation: York, A. & Somerville, K. (2024). How the practices of schools of opportunity illustrate recent research on learning. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from