The Achievement Gap

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The Achievement Gap in the United States Schools

December 15, 2010

Since the mid sixties we as a nation have been studying the achievement gap between minority students, low-income, and middle income students. I plan to present data regarding this issue that has plagued our country for decades. Being an employee in the education system and working with students from these subgroups, I have had firsthand experience with this issue. With the achievement gap growing rapidly, our country has seen and alarming low rate in high school graduations, standardize testing, and higher dropout rates.( Lasley, T. (2002, august). Due to these factors I feel this topic is important enough to warrant an analysis. I will explain why I feel parents accountability, diversity, and demographics are key catalyst in the widening of the achievement gap.

One of the major factors that contributes to the achievement gap is parent accountability. According to the US Census Bureau, there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today).(November 2009) What I have observed in my years in the school system is most parents has to work two jobs or longer hours to provide for their families, which leaves less time to stay on top of their children's school work. Kids are home alone more and are spending less time studying and doing homework and more time texting and playing video games and on computers. Parents are assuming their kids are doing as they should and not taking the extra effort and time to insure all task and assignments are being competed.

Diversity in the school environment is another factor contributing to the achievement gap. With how our society has grown, the diversity in cultural backgrounds, ethics, and traditions in our schools has also grown. Our knowledge of the needs of diverse groups of students is...
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