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As states have sought waivers from the 100 percent proficiency requirement of No Child Left Behind, new performance targets were put in place that led to differing expectations for children depending on their race. The achievement gap, as noted in the trend data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, has become a focal point of education reform efforts. PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners. Urban Intellectuals is the place for positively black stories and images for our community to stay informed, motivated and inspired. Europe has made little progress over the past decade towards ending sexual discrimination in the job market, the European Commission says. Women still earn 15% less than men on average, compared with 17% in 1995, despite being better educated.



Employment Commissioner Vladimir Spidla said it was "an absurd situation" that required changes to employment policies and better application of existing law. The pay gap is at 20% or above in six countries: Finland, the UK, Germany, Slovakia, Estonia and Cyprus.
The commission wants the 27 member states to set objectives and deadlines to eradicate the gap, and will also push for equal pay to be made a condition for winning public contracts. One reason the pay gap is high in the UK and Germany is the high proportion of women in part-time work - more than 40% in both countries, compared to an EU average of 31.2%. Other problems identified by the commission are a "glass ceiling" that makes it harder for women to get top jobs, family responsibilities and the fact that jobs traditionally dominated by women are less well paid. The countries with most women in management positions are Latvia, Lithuania, France and Hungary, with the UK in fifth place.


The achievement gap can be observed on a variety of measures, including standardized test scores, grade point average, dropout rates, and college-enrollment and -completion rates. While this article focuses on the achievement gap in the United States, various gaps exist between groups in other nations as well. Efforts to combat the gap have been numerous but fragmented, and have ranged from affirmative action and multicultural education to finance equalization, improving teacher quality, and school testing and accountability programs to create equal educational opportunities.



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