Opportunity Gap

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Considering the Opportunity Gap
Generally speaking, opportunity gap refers to inputs—the unequal or inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities—while achievement gap refers to outputs—the unequal or inequitable distribution of educational results and benefits.

America prides itself on creating the opportunity for all citizens to" pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” We aspire to have a fair playing field and we want every child to have the opportunity to succeed. There are strong indicators that we are not living up to our aspirations. There are communities and individuals that are experiencing a tilted playing field. How can we respond?

State-by-state data on youth opportunity:

Rounds/Questions: The Living Room Conversation Starts Here
A Living Room Conversation flows through 5 rounds of questions and the closing. During some rounds, each question will be addressed. In other rounds, the multiple questions are intended as conversation starters and you need only respond to the one or two that matter the most to you. In the event the conversation wanders off track, we will refer to this Conversation Guide to get it back on track.

Round One: Getting Started / Why Are We Here?
• What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round Two: Core Values
Answer one or more of the following:
• What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
• What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you “tick”?
• What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country now and long-term?

Round Three: What are your biggest concerns about the topic area selected?
Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer one or more of the following questions:
• Have you personally seen that there is an opportunity gap?
• Do you believe that there is a public need to create equal opportunities for all our young community members?
• Do you have ideas for how we might diminish the obstacles to success that some communities face?
• What opportunities were and were not available to you?

Round Four: Reflection
Answer one or more of the following questions:
• In one sentence, share what was most meaningful / valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation.
• What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on this topic?
• Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Round Five: Accomplishment and Next Steps
Answer both of the following questions:
• What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
• Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Closing – Thank you! Please complete the feedback form to help improve Living Room Conversations.