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The Achievement Gap is the minority versus the white students. The gap does not begins when a child starts school, but it begins before a child starts school. The Department of Education and the government has tried to close the gap, but the gap is still there. There has been some improvements in test scores, but like Ravitch mentioned, it is hard to close the achievement gap if all groups are improving (363). The minority would have to improve dramatically in order for the gap to close. For improvements to be made, changes would have to occur at home, in classrooms, and within the Board of Education. It may take a few years to close the gap and get all groups on the same level, but it is possible.
Ravitch states that privatization of schools often leads to greater segregation (362). In paragraph 12, she also claims that such gaps exist wherever there is inequality. The students from the most advantaged families have higher test scores than students from the least advantaged families. White kids most likely come from the most advantaged families and can afford to attend private schools, while minority kids most likely come from the least advantaged families and attend public schools (363). Jonathan Kozol would agree with Ravitch because he believed schools were reverting back to segregation, and that white schools had a better education. Changes have to occur in the homes of the minority students. Parents should start teaching their kids how to read, spell and vocabulary before they start school. Parents should also be good role models and set high standards. A kid can achieve at a public school because I achieved at public schools. Minority kids just need the support at home, and they need someone to look up to which means parents should lead their kids in the right direction and be a good leader. The parents of minority kids should have goals set and be prepared to raise a child before having a child. Ravitch claims African Americans have experienced higher levels of poverty and lower levels of education than white Americans (364). African Americans should try to get out of poverty, build their community up and make a better life for the next generation. The changes that need to be made to close the achievement gap starts within the home of the minority.
Public schools and private schools are different in many ways. Public schools are free to attend, and private schools cost to attend. As Kozol mentioned in his article, schools are still separate and unequal. Teachers earned $43,000 a year in the urban community while teachers earned $74,000-77,000 a year in the white community. Spending level was $11,700 per pupil in an urban community, but the spending lever was $722,000 per pupil in a white community. The white students have a better education than the minority students because they have the resources. Also, from my experience, there tend to be more distractions in public schools because kids are not brought up right. Most minorities that live in poverty live in a tough community, and they act upon what they see. This makes it harder for teachers to teach and other students to learn. Teacher in public schools may not have faith in their students, so instead of teaching them the material they need to know for standardized test, the teachers sometime cheat. This cause more problems not only for the students, but make a bad look for public schools. Changes have to be made in the classrooms next in order for the gap to close.
The Board of Education also have to make changes. They cannot pressure the teachers to teach material that may be on standardized tests because the teachers are going to do whatever it takes to keep their job, even if it means to cheat. The No Child Left Behind policy is a good policy to a certain extent. The Department of Education should not close schools and send students to another school because the school did not make AYP. Instead, they should either replace the teachers or fund the schools, so the school will be able to get the resources they need to properly teach the students. Lastly, changes should be made within the Board of Education.
Closing the Achievement Gap is going to take time, but it is possible. Everyone have to be on the same page and be willing to work together. For improvements to be made, changes would have to occur in the home of the minorities, in classrooms of the minorities, and within the Board of Education.
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