Research Proposal: Achievement Gap

Pages: 20 (8980 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 35  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching  ·  Buy This Paper

Achievement Gap

"Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn.

They know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white."

Barack Obama, Keynote Address, Democratic National Convention, 2004

(Fryer, 2006, ¶ 1).

Literature Review Organization

The researcher's engagement with the literature, according to Henry N. Kemoni (2008), PhD, Senior Lecturer at the School of Information Sciences, Moi University, Kenya, in the report, "Theoretical framework and literature review in graduate records management research," factors into whether or not the literature review proves successful. In writing their literature review chapter, choosing an appropriate framework for the research often proves challenging. Literature Reviews (2007) notes that options for the meeting the challenge of fitting the right frame to the study include the following five strategies:

1. Chronological

2. Methodological

3. Thematic

5. By trend. (Literature Reviews, 2007)

To fill the purpose for this study's literature review, the researcher chose to utilize the thematic strategy as the organizational method for the literature review's body. Kemoni (20080 stresses: "The principle purpose of a literature review is to establish the academic and research areas that are of relevance to the subject of the research (Records management section, ¶ 5). The three themes relevant to the achievement gap, evolving from the literature which the researcher summarizes and synthesizes during this chapter include:

1. Achievement Challenges and Concerns

2. Causes Contributing to Achievement Gap

3. Overcoming Achievement Gap

As noted in this study's introduction, this study focuses on causes contributing to the contemporary achievement gap, which according to research, significantly impacts the achievement gap between black and white students. The following definitions relating to race apply to this study:

Black: A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North

Africa, or the Middle East. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009,

Race/Ethnicity section, ¶ 3)

There are a number of factors to be researched concerning the achievement gap between African-American and Caucasian students. These factors include such things as resource allocation and how it affects those that receive less as compared to those that receive additional resources, how low teacher expectations can be effecting results from students who realize that the expectations are low (or high), academic stereotyping and the subliminal effects it is having on students, and last, but certainly not least, teacher quality or lack thereof. The educational environment in which the students find themselves is also perceived as an important factor in the level of success for many students.

There have been a number of studies conducted during the last several decades that present various reasons for the achievement gap between black and white students, and a large number of decisions have been made using the data as presented by those studies. In the past the common perception may have been that certain students, or groups of students may have been less likely to achieve success due to their membership in that group. Stereotyping to that degree might even be a harbinger for the lack of success. A 2007 study found that "stereotype threat effects occur when members of a stigmatized group perform poorly on a task because they fear confirming a negative stereotype that is associated with their ingroup" (Spencer & Castano, 2007, p. 419). If members of a group feel that they are being looked down upon or castigated for being a part of that group, they may be acting out in the specific manner for which they are being looked down upon in the first place.

LITERATURE REVEALS

David Gardner (2007), head teacher for Explorations in Math, a nonprofit group working with the Seattle schools, points out that throughout most of America's history, funding disparities between white schools and the schools which serve blacks have been significant. In the journal article, "Confronting the achievement gap," Gardner notes that in Black America (originally published in 1929), Scott Nearing) documented numerous disparities existing in the South during the 1920s. "For example, in 1927, South Carolina spent $2.74 per 'Negro' student and $27.88 per white student. Or even more astoundingly, Mississippi counties in 1926 averaged $3.59 a year per black student as opposed to $68.15 per white student" (Gardner, ¶ 7). In eight southern cities, according to Nearing, white children had access to 162 kindergartens, which black children could only attend eight.

Achievement Challenges and Concerns

"What is the achievement gap and why should I care?" (2009), a relevant contemporary article title, simultaneously poses a powerful pertinent problem question. The U.S. Department of Education defines the achievement gap as: "The difference in academic performance between different ethnic groups" (What is the…, 2009, ¶ 1). The achievement gap, however, constitutes a multifaceted problem that mandates investigations from numerous perspectives. Educators attending a SEDL-sponsored networking forum for mathematics and science educators, assert that the achievement gap includes the following definitions:

"The difference between a child's potential and his/her actual achievement."

"The acceptance of mediocrity in expectations, values, and people."

"The unacceptable difference in achievement & #8230; and academic resources."

(What is the…, 2009, ¶ 3).

Since the early 1990s, the primary National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program has evaluated student reading and mathematics performance, which reflects the extent student performance in these two subjects has changed over time. This documentation includes the achievement gaps noted between White and Black students.

In reading, the achievement gap between White-Black 4th-graders was smaller in 2007 than in any previous assessment…. In 2007, at the 4th-grade level, Blacks scored, on average, 27 points lower than Whites (on a 0 -- 500 scale). At 8th grade, there was no measurable difference in the White-Black & #8230;reading achievement gaps in 2007 compared with 1992 or 2005. In 2007, at the 8th-grade level, Blacks scored, on average, 27 points lower on the reading assessment than Whites

In mathematics, the achievement gap between White-Black 4th-graders was lower in 2007 than in 1990 (26 vs., but there was no measurable change over the last two years…. Among 8th-graders, a similar trend existed in & #8230;the White-Black…score gaps: increases occurred in the 1990s before decreasing to the current levels, which are not measurably different from those in 1990. The White-Black 8th-grade mathematics gap was lower in 2007 than in 2005…. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009, Supplemental Notes section)

Table 1 evolves from information the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics relates and notes gaps for Whites and Blacks in average reading and mathematics scores by grade during various years from 1990 -- 2007.

Table 1: White-Black and White-Hispanic Gaps (adapted from National Center for Education Statistics, 2009, Learner Outcomes section).

Subject, race/ethnicity, & grade

1990

1992

1994

1996

1998

2000

2002

2003

2005

2007

Reading

White-Black gap

Grade 4

32

38

32

34

30

31

29

27

Grade 8

30

30

26

27

28

28

27

Mathematics

White-Black gap

Grade 4

32

35

34

31

27

26

26

Grade 8

33

40

41

40

35

34

32

In the study, "Black, white and brown," Neil Foley (2004), Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, at the University of Texas at Austin, asserts that the color line continues to be purposefully drawn between black and white, even though immigration and high fertility rates among the newer immigrants have contributed to major changes in the diversity in the U.S. Educators continue to experience concern about the diminishing pool of blacks who fall behind most in rates of high school graduation. The 2000 census reported that of the approximately 1.2 million black…eighteen-year-olds in the United States, only about 631,000, approximately half, graduated from high school. Only 24% of all black U.S. 18-year-olds met the minimum qualifications to attend college (Foley, 2004, ¶ 8).

Sonja Ralston Elder (2007), Duke University School of Law, asserts in the journal article, "Standing up to legislative bullies: Separation of powers, state courts, and educational rights," that family education and income levels continue to denote the best predictors for a child's future academic success. "Nationwide, minority students were only two-thirds as likely to graduate from high school as white students" (Elder, ¶ 3). Results from the study, "A comparison between African-American and white students enrolled in an equal opportunity program on predominantly white college campuses: Perceptions of the campus environment," conducted by Calvin D. Phillips (2005), PhD., Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling and Postsecondary Education, University of Northern Iowa, indicate even more negative statistics confirming the academic gap. "According to the National Education Association Higher Education Research Center the graduation rate of African-American students within a six-year period at four-year institutions is 45.7% in comparison to White students 66.8%" (Phillips, ¶ 2).

Low academic achievement adversely affects all aspects of society. Disparities in educational attainment contribute to disparities in household income. This in turn contributes to… [END OF PREVIEW]

Four Different Ordering Options:

?
Which Option Should I Choose?

1.  Buy the full, 20-page paper:  $28.88

or

2.  Buy + remove from all search engines
(Google, Yahoo, Bing) for 30 days:  $38.88

or

3.  Access all 175,000+ papers:  $41.97/mo

(Already a member?  Click to download the paper!)

or

4.  Let us write a NEW paper for you!

Ask Us to Write a New Paper
Most popular!

Gaps Between HRM Plans and Implementation Essay


Math Achievement in African-American Boys Versus Their White Counterparts Term Paper


Education Gap in Blacks Article Review


Gap Analysis: Riordan Manufacturing Thesis


Educational Gap Between Whites and People of Color Research Paper


View 1,000+ other related papers  >>

Cite This Research Proposal:

APA Format

Achievement Gap.  (2009, July 7).  Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/achievement-gap/7269

MLA Format

"Achievement Gap."  7 July 2009.  Web.  24 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/achievement-gap/7269>.

Chicago Format

"Achievement Gap."  Essaytown.com.  July 7, 2009.  Accessed May 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/achievement-gap/7269.