Achievement Gap Essay

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The achievement gap is defined as the disparity between the performance groups of students, especially groups defined by gender, race/ethnicity, ability and socio-economic status. The achievement gap can be observed through a variety of measures including standardized test scores, grade point averages, drop out rates, college enrollment and completion rates. The Black-White achievement gap is a critical issue in modern society’s education system. Although data surrounding the issue clearly indicates that the racial performance gap exists in areas of standardized tests, graduation rates, dropout rates, and enrollment in continuing education, the causative reasons for the gap are ambiguous—therefore presenting a significant challenge in…show more content…
Less than 4% of the total student population enrolled in America’s colleges and universities (one of the smallest subgroups based on race/ethnicity and gender.) According to the Schott Foundation, the graduation rate of Black males in CT is between 51%, whereas White males in CT have an 83% graduation rate—a 32% gap. Moreover, the achievement gap between Black women and Black men is the lowest male-to female ratio among all racial/ethnic subgroups. (Strayhorn 1). The disproportionate and devastating failure of Black males in the educational system has further ramifications in our social system as black males are over-represented in the criminal justice system: “African-American males represent approximately 8.6 percent of the nation’s K-12 public school enrollment but make up about 60 percent of all incarcerated youth” (Smith 2005). In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the academic crisis of adolescent black males, one must examine the research findings surrounding the Black-White achievement gap, black male standardized test scores, black male literacy achievement, and the socio-cultural achievement barriers that obscure black males’ self-perception of themselves as readers. “According to many standardized assessments, educators in the U.S.

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