Why Is There A Huge Academic-Achievement Gap Between White Students And Their Peers Of Color?

We may be living at a time when education should be readily available for everyone, but knowledge still appears to be hard to come by. A new research suggests that black and Latino students are still a few grade levels behind their white classmates.

Stanford University conducted an educational study on the test scores of around 40 million US students and discovered that students of color had lower scores than white students. In addition to that, the academic-achievement gap between white and colored students was even greater in wealthy university towns like Evanston in Illinois and Berkeley in California.

Is It A Poverty Issue?

The researchers of Stanford University were quick to analyze whether poverty was a major factor in the gap, since children of color tend to come from poorer families. However, it seems as though that is not the only factor.

The study found that there is still an the academic-achievement gap still exists between white and colored students who have similar socioeconomic backgrounds and go to the same schools. So what is happening in these schools that are allowing white students to be more knowledgeable than their Latino and black classmates?

Racial Segregation In School

Stanford University professor Sean Reardon, who also served as a lead researcher on the study, told The Atlantic that one of the causes of the educational gap could be the tendency for white students to be tracked into more demanding courses. This usually leads to white children learning so much more compared to their colored classmates.

"The results of these descriptive analyses are unequivocal," Reardon stated. "Racial segregation is strongly associated with racial achievement gaps; and the racial difference in the proportion of students' schoolmates who are poor is the key dimension of segregation driving this association."

It certainly sounds like the issue can be easily overlooked by schools, but Reardon hopes that something will be done with the help of their research. "This isn't a little problem," he stated. "We've got to work on lots of fronts at once."

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