State data show that the gap in academic achievement between white and black students in the Asheville City Schools is the largest in North Carolina. The district is launching a new initiative to address the persistent problem — but only time will tell whether this effort will succeed where so many have failed to show results.
This story received first-place honors in the N.C. Press Association’s 2017 Editorial Contest in the education reporting category for community newspapers in the largest circulation category. The judges wrote: “This is the kind of journalism we all should aspire to do. It examines what’s happening in our backyards and asks why. Good graphics help drive home the disparity between success for white students and their non-white peers.”