Journal Article: The Achievement Gap: Issues of Competition, Class, and Race


Education, Student achievements, Equalization, Educational, School reform, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001


Hunter, Richard C.; Bartee, RoSusan


2003, February


The abolition of the achievement gap between racial majority and minority students will require more than the implementation of the principles proposed by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. Founded upon the market-based contextual framework of competition and choice in public education, standardized test scores, and the presumption of equal access and opportunity in schools and society, this act represents a flawed approach to the improvement of standards in public education. Instead, efforts to overcome the achievement gap require a clear definition of objectives for academic achievement, adequate alignment of practices, and assessments based on long-term effectiveness instead of short-term accomplishments. The sociological and historical perspectives of competition, the racial and nonracial effects of standardized testing, and the implications of the achievement gap for the NCLB act are discussed.


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