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Not only was there essentially no progress in average reading and math scores from 2017 to 2019 in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the achievement gaps for economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities are unchanged or have widened. Despite trillions of dollars of expenditure on programs such as Title I and IDEA, the gaps persist in both reading and math.

Educators and education policymakers seeking to understand and remedy the achievement gaps are increasingly focused on the concept of equity. A variety of inequities have been identified including disparities in per-pupil spending, teacher experience, and technology and other resources. A less visible disparity and one that connects directly to student learning is highlighted by contemporary neuroscience research – cognitive development.

This webinar will address cognitive development as barrier to closing the achievement gap and the need for development of cognitive skills as a matter of equity.

  • The role of cognitive skills in reading and math
  • The research on the impact of poverty on cognitive development
  • The differences in cognitive development among groups and the specific skills where the disparity is most pronounced
  • Interventions that directly address cognitive development and narrow or close both the cognitive gap and the achievement gap


If you have questions or need additional information on anything we discussed in this webinar, please email After you have watched this webinar, you can request a certificate of participation.




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