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C.A.R.E. Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps

NEA Guide for Educators


2011 C.A.R.E. Guide: Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps

The C.A.R.E. Guide (3rd ed., 2007) ( PDF, 3.4 MB, 164pp) provides a multi-themed approach to closing the achievement gaps, focusing on Culture, Abilities, Resilience, and Effort (C.A.R.E.).

Closing student achievement gaps is one of the most pressing challenges facing public education. Educators, with the support of the community, must:

  • Reach all students—students from multiple ethnic, racial, language, and economic backgrounds; students of both genders; students of comparable ability who are not currently achieving at equal academic levels

  • Ensure that all students have access to high-level classes and high-quality teachers and attain more high school and college diplomas
    The C.A.R.E. Guide helps educators reflect on the causes of disparity in student achievement and explore ways to improve academic success by using innovative, research-based instructional strategies.

By focusing on the themes of cultural, economic and language differences; unrecognized and undeveloped abilities; the power of resilience; and the importance of effort and motivation, the C.A.R.E. Guide advances the idea that if educators view these qualities of students as strengths, rather than deficits, they can be successful in closing achievement gaps.


NOTE: The 3rd edition of the C.A.R.E. guide reflects the following changes:

  • Re-translated worksheets available in Spanish and corrected pages from the first two editions. (Corrected pages: Chapter 2, page 2-21; Chapter 3, pages 3-12, 3-13, 3-29, 3-30, 3-31, 3-32, and 3-33.)

  • Reformatted "Educator Check-In" tools for each of the C.A.R.E. guide theme chapters.  (Changed pages: 2-4, 3-4, 4-5, and 5-5.)

  • A new tool for each of the four C.A.R.E. guide theme chapters. An "Educational Support Professional Check-In," which can be used by educational support professionals, administrators, and other non-classroom educators, can be found on pages 2-23, 3-34, 4-26, and 5-20.