The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which offers scholarships in the country to promising students with financial needs, is convening a two-day summit of national school leaders and experts in order to strategize about how schools can bridge the “achievement” or “excellence gap”—i.e., the troubling disparity in academic performance between lower income and higher income students.

Between February 5-6, 2015, more than 100 principals of selective high schools, leaders of organizations such as the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools, researchers focused on this population of students, other scholarship providers, education advocates, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Education will gather at the Lansdowne Resort in Virginia for “Closing the Excellence Gap: Advocating for High-Achieving, Low-Income Students.” These participants will review cutting-edge research on and identify best practices for high-achieving, low-income students. 

“This is the first-ever convening of its kind,” said executive director Harold Levy, in a statement. “The Cooke Foundation is taking an important step to change the national conversation about the excellence gap and make a tangible difference for talented but low-income students across the country.”

The Cooke Foundation not only seeks to strengthen existing collaborations, but also to support the establishment of a new advocacy organization of selective high schools. The Cooke Foundation will also announce a $500,000 grant competition for selective public high schools to increase the pipeline of students attending their schools.

The agenda and livestream feed for the summit can be found at the Cooke Foundation's site here.