The achievement gap is present in the education system
Letter to the Editor | Friday, November 3, 2017
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge. It is held in high esteem in today’s society and around the world. The new generation is burdened by the fact that it has to receive an education or else it will not be successful in life. The achievement gap present in schools today shows how that burden can affect a student’s life as they grow older. An achievement gap is the disparity of educational measures between the performance of groups of students. This gap shows how current uneducated students nowadays are falling farther and farther behind their counterparts in terms of knowledge and education. These students are being separated from others with higher scores and are being held to low standards which causes them to resist learning. The achievement gap occurs in our country and is detrimental to students of race, gender and disability because those who are considered below average have fewer opportunities to improve themselves.
The achievement gap is a real problem present in the education system as racism, a student’s family situation, and a teacher’s bias pose issues. A detailed description of the term ‘achievement gap’ includes the differences between the test scores of minority and low-income students and the test scores of their White and Asian peers. A majority of the differences between test scores are produced by minorities or those who have a low socioeconomic status. However, the overall type of student groups experiencing achievement gaps are racial and ethnic minorities, English language learners, students with disabilities and students from low-income families are all students affected by achievement gaps. The myriad of groups struggling to meet education standards demonstrates how a variety of students are being affected.
The student groups in the paragraph above are providing low scores because the education system’s teachers do not make an effort to teach those who are considered to be of low socioeconomic status or minorities. The standing of a person’s rank in life can be used against them as educators use their position in life to hold minorities back from receiving the knowledge they crave and the freedom that comes with it. According to the Glossary of Education Reform “minority status gives rise to racism, prejudice, stereotyping, ethnic bias and institutionalized predispositions that may negatively affect educational achievement.” Schools have the tendency to lower academic expectations for minorities or enroll them in less-challenging courses. Educators in the system sometimes turn a blind eye to those who struggle because they hold the bias that those students are not worth their time. This is a real problem in the education system as teachers are suppose to give a fair chance and should be unbiased to issues such as race, gender and economic status.
Furthermore, there is data to prove how the achievement gap is a reality as standardized test scores provide the information. It is shown that the “differences between the scores of students with different backgrounds (ethnic, racial, gender, disability, and income) are evident on large-scale standardized tests.” Large-scale standardized tests consist of the ACT, SAT, and state-administered tests throughout a school year. High test scores can open doors in the academic world and allow a person to receive an education at a prestigious school. Low test scores do the reverse and prevent minority students from admittance into prestigious universities. Low test scores impair the type of future a student can lead as longer-term gaps that minimize the chance to go to college can limit the student’s job. Education is all about the input and output of hard work as it provides advantages in the future, but if a person is discouraged then the future is not as bright or appealing as it could have been.
class of ’21
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.