Achievement Gaps: The Role Of Segregation In Education

591 Words3 Pages
The history of the achievement gaps is complex, and many educators believe that there is no single primary cause for its existence and persistence. The period of segregation in the United States is most influential factor that has shaped the racial gap in education. Tracing back to the history, the term “segregation” notably appears in the education settings is through the Brown vs. Board of Education court case in 1954. Since the period of slavery, ethnic minorities, especially Blacks, have been placed in a disadvantaged setting in term of educational opportunity. However, in Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot separate schools for blacks and white students, which required schools to desegregate and provide…show more content…
Bush passed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), an reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) under Lyndon B. Johnson administration’s War of Poverty. The No Child Left Behind Act requires states to administer an annual assessment, and ensure that schools are making Adequate Yearly Progress, a set of measuring tool to determine if schools are successful. One of the primary goals of the No Child Left Behind Act is to close the students’ achievement gaps by 2014 through the four main pillars: stronger accountability for results, more flexibility for states, more choices for parents, and proven education methods. (U.S Department of Education, 2004) However, the NCLB is exacerbating the gaps with its strong emphasis on the use of standardized testing as a measurement. With NCLB’s strong emphasis on standardized testing to measure student learning, teacher quality, and the achievement gaps, it pressured the schools to narrow its curriculum, teach to the test (Jackson Sr., 2011), and more importantly, “limited the productivity of critical thinkers, and innovators of America.” (Proconor) Teachers are forced to teach to the test to meet the requirements, and focus their teaching on the materials that are on the test. At the same time, the NCLB gives the states and school districts the flexibility to develop their own assessments. David Hursh, an Associate Professor at the University of Rochester, claims that this freedom seriously impact the accuracy of the assessments since states can design tests with different standards. (Holmes, 2009) The flaws, and inaccuracies of standardized testing proved that NCLB failed to close the achievement
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