Essay On Achievement Gap

Programs and policies such as affirmative action, Head Start, campus minority counseling, and African American studies curricula are all based on this misconceived view.They have improved black school performance only a notch or two—a neat measurement of how much black victimhood actually contributes to the problem.The victimologist mindset that prevails among black Americans, in the news media, and in other quarters of American society, ensures that the lagging academic performance of black Americans is viewed solely as a result of black suffering and deprivation.Victimologist thinking infuses almost all discussions of education with the assumption that "black" means "poor," and that the dismal school performance of black youngsters is the product of inequities in school resources, racism among teachers, and chaotic home lives.

The chief cause is not racism, inadequate school funding, class status, parental education level, or any other commonly cited factor, but a variety of anti-intellectualism that plagues the black community.

This anti-intellectualism is the product of centuries of slavery and segregation during which blacks were denied education, but it has been perpetuated by the powerful strand of separatism in black culture, a legacy of the 1960s, that rejects as illegitimate all things "white." The worlds of the school and books are seen as suspicious and alien things that no authentically black person would embrace—except perhaps to make money or to chronicle black victories and the injustices blacks have endured.

A black teacher friend of mine calls this the African American "cultural disconnect" from learning.

As I will show, the victimologist roster of black disadvantages provides only secondary causes.

These disadvantages affect blacks’ performance in school the same way a weakened immune system leaves a person vulnerable to the common cold.

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