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Closing The Achievement Gap Essay

4351 words - 18 pages

With the current state of Education in America, there is no shortage of theories, models, or initiatives all claiming to be panacea to heal all the educational achievement woes that exist in society. With the nation’s situation being as it is there is a litany of issues on which to focus concerning academic achievement, or lack thereof. One area of academic achievement gaps in particular continues to plague American education that is the obvious disparity between Black students and White students. According to the National Assessment or Educational Progress (NAEP, 2010), “Achievement gaps occur when one group of students outperforms another group and the difference in average scores for ...view middle of the document...

An educational leader can facilitate this effort by implementing programs that are scientifically research based, soliciting buy-in from school and district staff, creating community partnerships, and implementing early intervention programs with fidelity.
As today’s education system moves rapidly into a high technology era of information, the requirements for a new kind of education and new forms of school organization are becoming the basic needs for success. One author states the following:
Over the last decade the rhetoric of school improvement has changed from a language of school reform to a language of school restructuring. Efforts to make our current education system more efficiently have shifted to initiatives that aim for the fundamental redesign of schools, of approaches to teaching and learning, and of goals for schooling. (Darling-Hammond, 1993)
School reform suggests that the existing, foundational systems in use will not change. However, some of the practices, methods, and technologies may be altered. According to one expert, "If student performance in America's public schools is to be improved in any significant way, school leaders must transform their organizations from bureaucracies into learning organizations." (Schlechty, 2006, p. 62) In order to transform, existing paradigms must be shaken and uprooted from their core and then the process of rebuilding and redefining can commence. School improvement is such a hot topic of concern because there are many factors that determine whether or not a school is deemed successful. The overarching is the matter of student achievement or lack thereof.
Cultures, demographics, standards, ethics, accountability measures, and professional qualification requirements in the field of education are changing and will continue to change. In order to keep up with the changing professional and educational demands, educators and stakeholders at every level must keep up with the demands through ongoing professional and personal development. an important goal of education is to reach these diverse students and ensure that they achieve academically and socially. “As Banks (2003) and Eck (2001) argue, teachers need to acquire new skills, knowledge and attitudes that will enable them to effectively relate and educate all students in multicultural and multiracial settings.” (Coggins & Campbell, 2008) As student populations diversify, so must the mindsets of the educators who are responsible for them. Although race is a major topic of this research, diversification is not limited to skin color. It can also include learning ability, learning styles, and prior knowledge of the students. When many Black students enter middle school and high school, they lack some of the basic reading and mathematic skills in compared to their White counter parts.
For students who start school feeling unsuccessful or "slow" in crucial academic skills such as math and reading, the process of disidentification...

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