Op/Ed By Julianne Malveaux
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Thousands of pages have been written about the achievement gap; the fact that White kids score higher than either Black or Latino kids who sometimes sit right next to them in classrooms. And despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent to close the achievement gap, the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported last year that the gap was unchanged in both reading and math between 2009 and 2013.
Why? African-American students are as capable for learning as Caucasian students are, if they have the same quality of teachers, schools, and learning material. But many researchers have documented the differences in school quality between inner cities and elsewhere. Some researchers will explain the achievement gap by focusing on poverty, challenging family backgrounds, or other factors. Anecdotal evidence suggests that often, teacher attitudes determine the ways some students are treated, and some of the ways that they learn. Often large classroom sizes and, yes, unruly students, contribute to teacher burnout for which there is little relief.