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 Closing the Gap 
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What do you think? Will we ever close the achievement gap or will it continue to grow? Does it even exist? According to the books and information we have read,due to no fault of their own, minority students have a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the world. I also wonder why African American students made great strives in the 60's, 70's and 80's, but seemed to have fallen so far behind in the 90's. Is the achievement gap real or educational propaganda?

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Iredell County


Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:32 pm
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Billy, I've always felt that the achievement gap is nonsense. I spoke with a regional leadership team about this last year and argued that until we recognize what these students have to offer our classrooms; that achivement is incorrectly defined, then we will never see African American's meet our expectations. Certainly African American boys are not reading as well as white girls, but these young minds have so much to offer and strengths in other areas that often go ignored and unrecognized. Defencies may exist, but to call it a "gap" as if something is lacking is simply arrogant. Until we hear their stories and affirm them, they have no desire to read. The gap is yet another consequence of a poor designed and irrelevant test.

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Heath Belcher


Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:50 am
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Good question...I am not sure there is such a thing as what is often called "the achievement gap"...even if there is, what happens IF suddenly there is no gap and all kids make a 3 or 4 on their tests? What next...the standards will continue to rise, as we are seeing, and there will always be some form of a "created gap"... We all realize the chance of "closing the gap" for ALL is minimal...(there are so many things we can offer in a public school setting, but there are many things that are beyond our control.) What will happen will depend on who sets the standards, why, and what funds are available? These answers are what we really need to examine...

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Leigh Anne Frye


Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:20 pm
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I belive the real achievement gap exists between children of wealth and children of poverty.

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Neil Atkins


Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:31 pm
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Neil,

I think that you hit the nail on the head. As all of you know, I teach at a very wealthy school, but we do have students from lower income neighbors. This are the students that struggle the most. When these students struggle their parents can not hire a personal tutor, many can not stay after school to get help cause they have to leave school and go to work. In addition, they come to school each day tired from being at work the night before. School is viewed as a burden because that is 8 more hours a day that they could be at work and helping to put food on the table or pay the electric bill. Everyone does not view school as a way out.

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Tim Hoffman


Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:14 pm
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I've always hated that term "gap." Who has the right to determine who is ahead or behind? If everyone grew up with exact same background, the same experiences, the same social class, the same learning materials, the same teachers, the same parents, then i might consider the gap a real measure of something. Until then, I don't think its an appropiate measure.


Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:32 pm
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