The primary objective of the study was two-fold: First, to determine, for the period 2003-2009, if the U.S. poverty achievement gap has narrowed between students eligible for the free/reduced price school lunch program and students not eligible, using National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures of reading and math. The second part of the primary objective was to make projections about the size of the poverty gap for years 2011, 2013, and 2015. A secondary objective was to determine for each of the 50 states, for the 2003-2009 period, whether the poverty achievement gap has narrowed. Thus, the secondary objective pertains to the poverty achievement gap for states, while the first objective pertains to the national poverty achievement gap. The poverty achievement gap in math increased by 2 percentage points, and by 1 point in reading from 2003 to 2009. I projected that by 2015 the percentage of students eligible for free lunch would be greater than the percentage not eligible. Forty-one states had larger poverty achievement gaps in 2009 than in 2003.
Smith, Stuart E., "Will the U.S. Poverty Achievement Gap Narrow by 2015? Probably Not" (2011). NERA Conference Proceedings 2011. Paper 14.