Credit: Alison Yin/EdSource

Credit: Alison Yin/EdSource

Rob Waters April 26, 2019

Seven years ago, two education researchers in California did something that had never been done before. They sat for months in San Francisco in a secure, private room and matched confidential information on children in the child welfare system — those who had been removed from their biological parents due to abuse or neglect and placed into foster care — with information on those same kids’ school attendance and performance.

The work by the team from West Ed, an education research and policy organization, led to a groundbreaking 2013 report, The Invisible Achievement Gap. It found that California teachers and administrators didn’t know if students were in the foster care system

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