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The Anatomy of Achievement GapsWhy and How American Education is Losing (but can still Win) the War on Underachievement$
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Jaekyung Lee

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190217648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190217648.001.0001

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Tug of War

Tug of War

Trends of Racial and Ethnic Gaps in Achievement and Environment

(p.129) 4 Tug of War
The Anatomy of Achievement Gaps

Jaekyung Lee

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the questions of racial achievement gap trends in terms of equity. How have achievement gaps among racial and ethnic groups changed over the past four decades? What changes in family and school factors are related to achievement gap trends? The comparison of long-term achievement trends by race/ethnicity suggests that black–white and Hispanic–white achievement gaps have narrowed, but progress has slowed or reversed since the late 1980s. In contrast, the Asian–white gaps are relatively smaller and tend to widen in favor of Asian-American students. Although gap reductions in school and teacher resources, as well as in student course-taking, have contributed to narrowing the achievement gaps for black and Hispanic students, there remain substantial gaps in terms of advanced course-taking, teacher quality, and teacher expectations or standards for student performance. The negative trends of racial resegregation and minority students’ disengagement from schooling are also noted.

Keywords:   equity, race, achievement gap, family effects, school effects, equality, adequacy, reciprocity

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