Student Achievement

1572 Words7 Pages
Each year, children are failing in school. As the years progress, the number of children failing keep rising. In "Closing the Achievement Gap", Kati Haycock, the Director of the Education Trust at the American Association for Higher Education, states " Between 1970 and 1988, the achievement gap between African American and white students was cut in half, and the gap separating Latinos and whites declined by one-third. That progress came to a halt around 1988, however, and since that time, the gaps have widened" (6). As a result, people are doing studies and have come up with several theories that exist on how to address the achievement gap. These ideas have been categorized below to establish the issue to show causes for failure to achieve, to describe the consequences for students who are not achieving, and to suggest possible solutions.

Causes for Failure to Achieve

There are many causes for failure to achieve in students. Claude M. Steele, a professor of social psychology at Stanford University, claims that the reason for student failure is a combination of "stereotype threat". Steele's definition of stereotype threat is "a situational threat, in general form, can affect the members of any group about whom a negative stereotype exists" ("Threat" 614). He believes that the stereotyping towards minority students and women, in certain fields, affects their performance to a high enough degree that they could and do fail. Steele included statistics of the lower achievement scores of African Americans in colleges as compared to white students. If the stereotype threat shows up often enough, those being stereotyped could internalize the stereotype. That would mean that students would always think that they...

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...nderlying effects to prove that it is not. My next paper is going to touch on the topics as to why teachers have changed their curriculum over the years and if the added laws, such as "No Child Left Behind" has anything to do with the change in curriculum.

Works Cited

Berlak, Harold. "Race and the Achievement Gap." Rethinking Schools Summer 2001. 7 September 2004

Haycock, Kati. "Closing the Achievement Gap." Educational Leadership March 2001. 27 September 2004 .

Steele, Claude M. "A Threat in the Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance." American Psychologist. June 1997: 613-629.

---. "Thin Ice: "Stereotype Threat" and Black College Students." Atlantic August 1999: 44-54.

"The Texas Miracle". 60 Minutes. Host Dan Rather. CBS. 25 Aug 2004.

Wax, Amy L. "The Threat in the Air." Keep Media Opinion Journal 18 Apr 2004. 19 May 2004 .
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