Friday, November 03, 2006

Income doesn't explain testing gap - 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.