Essay On Achievement Gap

Essay On Achievement Gap-34
Programs and policies such as affirmative action, Head Start, campus minority counseling, and African American studies curricula are all based on this misconceived view.They have improved black school performance only a notch or two—a neat measurement of how much black victimhood actually contributes to the problem.

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The practical implications of such differences can be striking. Compare that with the mean score in 1995 for white students from families earning $10,000 or less: 869.

At the University of California, Berkeley, where I teach, the top scores among black freshmen in 1988 clustered in the lowest quarter of all scores at the university. The level of parental education is not a factor: In the same year, the mean SAT score for black students whose parents held graduate degrees was 844, even lower than the overall middle-class black mean.

There is no surer way to get a whoop of appreciation from a black audience than to affirm how strong black people are, how we have survived.

As the title of a popular motivational book for African Americans puts it, Success Runs in Our Veins.

The rise of a new black middle class has lifted hopes that African Americans are entering the economic mainstream.

But an alarming obstacle has appeared: Many children of this new middle class significantly lag their white peers in important measures of school performance.Nationwide, the black-white gap in SAT scores has changed little since the late 1980s. Statistics can deceive, but here a simple headcount tells the story: In 1995, exactly 184 black students in the United States scored over 700 on the verbal portion of the SAT—not even enough to fill a passenger airplane. (The top score possible in each case is 800.) This was 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, of the black test takers.Among white test takers, by contrast, the proportion scoring over 700 was five times greater on the verbal portion and 10 times greater on the math portion.But today the majority of black children do not grow up in poverty.The black middle class is growing rapidly, yet its children, too, are falling behind in school.Why do black students often continue to perform below standards even in affluent, enlightened settings where all efforts are made to help them?The chief cause is not racism, inadequate school funding, class status, parental education level, or any other commonly cited factor, but a variety of anti-intellectualism that plagues the black community.The gap threatens the goal of quickly achieving racial equality—and the logic of the American experience itself, with its promise of upward mobility and social inclusion.Here, an African American educator offers his view of what’s gone wrong.Among them were only 16 black students who scored 164 or higher on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)—enough to put them at least in the bottom quartile of the entering class at the nation’s top six law schools—and had a college grade point average of 3.5 or better.That year, 2,646 white applicants offered such credentials.

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