Achieving equity and excellence: The role of school mental health providers in shrinking excellence gaps

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The United States is becoming more racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse, yet the educational attainment of various student groups has been very uneven. For decades, educators and policymakers have been focused on minimal competencies rather than advanced achievement. Specifically, federal and state education policies have focused on closing achievement gaps at basic levels of achievement, which has allowed excellence gaps to grow considerably. This article describes ways in which school mental health professionals can address excellence gaps and serve as advocates for all high-ability students.