Achievement Gap: Racial or Economic?

There’s been a lot of talk in the past few years about the achievement gap in Charlottesville — that is, that black students tend to score lower on standardized tests than do white students. With the racial concerns stirred up around Superintedent Scottie Griffin, the issue has gotten quite a bit more attention recently. What’s not clear, though, is whether the problem is an economic one that tends to manifest itself along racial lines, or whether it’s a problem with race at its roots. In the African-American Reflector, Corey Carter has an article addressing that question:

It is true that poor children be they black or white have achievement problems, generally speaking, because of their home environment. However, it is reckless to assign poverty as the primary cause for the achievement gap in a feeble attempt to deracialize institutional racism. Whether a black child lives on Hardy Drive, or in Greenbrier, or in Farmington, they will be subjected to institutional racism and have less opportunities to be successful in school.

I don’t know if the root cause is racism or class-based disadvantage, but I’m glad we’re talking about it.

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