Journal Article: From the Achievement Gap to the Education Debt: Understanding Achievement in U.S. Schools


Education, Equalization, Educational, Educational policy/History, Student achievements, Minority students


Ladson-Billings, Gloria


2006, October


The achievement gap is one of the most talked-about issues in U.S. education. The term refers to the disparities in standardized test scores between Black and White, Latina/o and White, and recent immigrant and White students. This article argues that a focus on the gap is misplaced. Instead, we need to look at the "education debt" that has accumulated over time. This debt comprises historical, economic, sociopolitical, and moral components. The author draws an analogy with the concept of national debt--which she contrasts with that of a national budget deficit--to argue the significance of the education debt. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


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