Predictors of Academic Achievement: Race, Gender and Socioeconomic Status

800 Words4 Pages
One of the biggest problems Americans face today is a US student’s underwhelming academic performance. When compared to other countries, the United States comes in 18th place in math literacy and 25th place in reading literacy. The problem is not just a standard problem throughout the country, as there is much variation between graduation and subject literacy rates, with huge differences also between schools alone. These statistics are disappointing because the US is considered one of the largest world powers. The disparities in American students academic achievement is also detrimental because they are less able to compete in the global market place. Many things have been used to explain this disparity but race has often led as the main explanation. The racial disparities in academic achievement have also led to acts of law, such as the Hispanic Education act, which focus on improving test scores in New Mexico’s minority students. While there is a correlation between race and academic performance, I believe there are other factors, like economic class, which also have a profound effect on a students’ academic achievement. If my hypothesis is correct, review of further literature should show discrepancies between students of different socioeconomic status as a major influence on a student’s academic achievement. Review of Literature: Race is just one of many factors that have been shown to have an effect on a student’s academic achievement. Factors commonly researched include socioeconomic status, race, gender, and location. Of all mentioned factors, socioeconomic factors has been shown to be the strongest indicator of academic achievement (Lee et all.,2008). Only 7% of students with low socioeconomic success are expected to... ... middle of paper ... ...ith low socioeconomic status. The continuing failure of the New Mexico Legislature to act on this much larger category of students will continue to slow the state’s economic growth, and will limit the student’s abilities to compete in the global market place. The focus on race as a factor of economic success has probably become the most popular factor to address because of the racial tensions still in place today. If using the researched gaps between socioeconomic status levels as a new focus form improvement, the state legislature would be better serving the needs of far more students. As the research has shown, socioeconomic status is far more influential. Taking steps towards addressing the needs of students of low socioeconomic status would not only be an investment of the state of New Mexico’s future, but it would also be of great benefit to American society.
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