Children from economically challenged families appear to have a more difficult time in learning mathematical skills than do children from families with secure finances. While the body of research that exists on the topic has tended to focus on ethnicity as a component to the achievement gaps that are appreciated where learning mathematics is involved, it is more clearly evident that economic disparities create achievement gaps where expectations are not being met. Economic power asserts a certain level or propriety where knowledge is concerned, but this can be used where context is shown to be essential in learning mathematical knowledge. Putting math into context with real life situations appears to increase the ability to effectively use mathematical knowledge. Socialization appears to be the key to how learning is accomplished and learning math is affected when earlier socialization towards learning intangible concepts has not been established. The effect of economics on the gaps in achievement as observed between low and high income families is more likely due to the differences in socialization towards learning rather than in a disparity in income.
There is a belief based upon research that children from African American and Latin ethnic origins, as well as those from low socio-economic areas have lowered scores on standardized tests than to those from Caucasian ethnic origins and with a higher level of socio-economic advantages. According to Flores (2007), “Specifically, data show that African American, Latino, and low-income students are less likely to have access to experienced and qualified teachers, more likely to face low expectations, and less likely to receive equitable per student funding “ (p. 29).
In the study done by Flores (2007) who also focuses on socio-economic status, the statistics concerned with ethnicity is also considered. Flores (2007) presents data concerning standardized tests still shows a disparity in regard to ethnicity. In African American students, 91% have not met the mathematics proficiencies expected by the eighth grade. For Latino students that figure is 87%. Asian American students, on the other hand, show that 53% are not meeting mathematical expectations and Caucasian students are at 63%. The first notable information from these statistics is that over half of all students are not meeting mathematical achievement expectations by grade eight. The discussion, when focused on socio-economic backgrounds, shows that while 38% of children from financially secure homes meet expectations in mathematics on standardized tests, only 13% of children from economically insecure families meet those expectations (Flores, 2007). Economic disparities also lead to cultural disparities with families having members with minds that have been trained academically have a much easier time in transferring that type of learning discipline onto their children. As poverty and academic achievement are related, families in lower socio-economic levels are less likely to have achieved higher education; therefore their children are not taught how to pursue education nor to have an admiration for economic achievement. One of the other misconceptions where research has focused on culture and ethnic issues where learning is concerned is that there has been an association with culture and ethnicity. According to work done by Nasir and Hand