Academic Disparities

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This paper focuses on the academic disparities between majority and minority students based on educational assessments. African-American and Hispanic students are scoring significantly lower than White and Asian students in mathematics and language arts. The literature explores reasons for minority students’ underperformance based on economic and other disadvantages. In order to close the gap between minority and majority students the factors have contributed to the divide, must be addressed the conditions of schools, teacher preparation, the quality of coursework, teachers’ perceptions of students, and curriculum rigor. Many of these issues affecting African-American and Hispanic students’ performance are external factors over which …show more content…

Most minority students attend districts characterized by overcrowding which creates an unsafe environment and inhibits student learning. These schools are also often located in poverty stricken areas. As a result, they lack resources and access to specially equipped rooms such as science labs, gymnasiums, media centers, and libraries. Due to overcrowding, high schools in urban areas are unable to offer the necessary number of college preparatory courses to accommodate all of the students able to enroll. The reality Madrid describes is that many of the schools African-American and Hispanic students attend suffer from insufficiency of instructional materials, facility deficiencies, and teacher …show more content…

Madrid (2011) emphasizes the need for more adequate bilingual programs for Hispanic students. He states, “for students to acquire high levels of academic vocabulary, discourse, and inquiry in English to succeed in content areas; their own cultural and linguistic contexts are crucial ingredients in developing understanding of academic concepts" ( p. 8). In Forbidden Language: English Learners and Restrictive Language Policies (2010) by Gandara and Hopkins, the authors examine the failure of English-only policies instituted in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts with the intention of closing the achievement gap. Their work points to evidence that such policies have only further marginalized English language learners due to education’s emphasis on academic testing. Gandara and Hopkins call for states to foster multilingual programs in the schools that can build on the language and cultural capital of English language

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