THE HISTORY AND STRATEGIES OF ADDRESSING THE BLACK-WHITE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT GAP IN THE U.S.
Barnes, George Joseph
Hinkson, Leslie R
Since the 1960s, the academic achievement gap between black and white students in the United States has been prevalent. Black student academic achievement is on average two grade levels below whites. In the last 30 years, school policies and legislation have not had a large impact on closing the black-white achievement gap. The black-white achievement gap persists at every stage of academic development, from toddler shape recognition scores to chances of passing the State Bar Exam. White children score higher on aptitude tests before school. They outperform their black peers at grades 4, 8, and 12. They take more advanced course loads and are more likely to stay in high school through graduation. They score higher on the SATs and ACTs and pass more of the AP exams. They attend college in higher percentages, where they are more likely to graduate. White students are also proportionally more likely to attend and succeed at post-graduate education and the workforce.Many policymakers, researchers, and educators have contributed many proposals on effective ways of reducing this gap. Frequently, policymakers look to deficient schools, ineffective teachers, or weak pedagogy as the cause for the black-white achievement gap. Many legislative and judicial solutions have focused on the school environment. However, this thesis points to research that shows a more complex blend of social, economic, political, and cultural factors as the cause of the gap.This thesis examines the black-white achievement gap in the United States, with the objective of presenting effective ways of addressing the gap. The ultimate goal of this thesis is to understand the current state of research regarding the causes of the black-white achievement gap, to determine how disconnects with legislation and judiciary decisions have led to an inability to close the gap, and to suggest options which might jump-start the narrowing of the black-white achievement gap. The conclusion of the thesis argues that narrowing the gap will require changing standards and expectations at schools, as well as shifting peer-group and community understandings of academic achievement and black identity. Changing the paradigm about academic success will require new ideas in communities, shared responsibility in child rearing, and a collective genuine effort to support all children.
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Silberman, Rebecca (2007-04-18)A 1986 ethnographic study by Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu sparked controversy among education researchers by suggesting an "acting white" effect could be a source of the black-white achievement gap in U.S. public schools. ...