Friday, November 03, 2006

Income doesn't explain testing gap

News-Record.com - Greensboro, North Carolina: News - Education: Income doesn't explain testing gap

GREENSBORO — Guilford County's poorest white students on average scored higher on the SAT this year than the wealthiest black students, school board members learned Monday.

Deena Hayes, a member of the Guilford County Board of Education, said the data confirms her belief that the achievement gap in the district is not solely about economics.

A study conducted by the school district showed that white students coming from a household earning less than $20,000 a year scored about 40 points higher on the math and reading sections of the SAT than black students whose households earned more than $70,000 a year.
I have to admit that this surprised me. I am well aware of the persistance of the achievement gap and the arguments over nurture and nature, but this is really depressing. I had expected that achievement would be more tied to SES than to race.

I am sure that many people will blame it on racism, but I am sceptical that this alone could account for everything. Unfortunately I think that the key to improving black academic performance is going to creating a widespread culture of educational achievement in black culture. This is going to be a slow process that can probably only be fixed over generations.

3 comments:

rightwingprof said...

This doesn't imply racism (I assume you mean biased tests, a chestnut that was disproven years ago, but is still a favorite of the anti-testing crowd), or even a biological difference. There's a very distinct cultural difference between the races with respect to the importance of education.

Of course, the "progressives" don't want to talk about that, either.

rory said...

Agreed. My sister is a PHD Professor of sociology with all that that entails. (Super liberal progressive), and she won't even acknowledge the remotest possiblity that low achieving populations could been at all responsible for their own outcomes.

Dennis Fermoyle said...

Rory, I completely agree with you. I think culture is a key. We are supposed to teach that one culture isn't better or worse than another, but I'm don't believe that's true. You hear about minority kids harassing other minority kids who do well because they are acting "white", and you know there's a problem.