Gaps in academic achievement - Research Paper Example

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Gaps in academic achievement

A critical investigation of existing literature reveals that the problem of educational gap presents numerous challenges to policy-makers. Many studies have examined the achievement gap between black and white students, the contributing factors and the underlying implications. The growing consensus that the achievement gap between black and white students persists even after controlling for various observable characteristics, has been contested.  In a survey that used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten cohort (ECLS-K), the latest data administered by the Education Department, Fryer and Levitt demonstrated that the achievement gap between black and white students can be eliminated by controlling for observable characteristics of the environment and school (Fryer and Levitt, 2004). The researchers asserted that the gap between black and white students widens once students enter school (Fryer and Levitt, 2004). The author’s main argument is that black student’s underachievement is due to attending lower quality schools. The study is robust and compares results obtained in previous randomized studies with nonrandom sample frames. In a study that examined the extent to which family wealth affected test scores among young black and white students, Conley and Yeung (2008) found little evidence that the achievement gap between black and white students could be explained by wealth disparity. The researchers used data from PSID, a longitudinal study using a sample size of 5,000 participants (Conley and Yeung, 2008). ...Show more

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The paper “Gaps in academic achievement” holds the argument that family and school environments contribute to the achievement gap between black and white students. A critical investigation of existing literature reveals that the problem of educational gap presents numerous challenges.

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