Education gap is a considerable issue in the United States that came to the attention of educators and policymakers more than half a century ago (King, 2017). In particular, African American students have lower achievement in K-12 in comparison with their White counterparts. Gilar et al. (2019) describe academic achievement as an extent to which a student achieved short-term or long-term educational goals.
Academic achievement is usually quantified using test scores of grade point averages (GPAs) depending on the situation. In 2015, the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that 32% of White Americans performed at or above the proficient level at their 12th-grade exam, while only 7% of Americans could reach the proficient level (Anderson, 2016). This implies that African Americans are less likely to achieve sufficient ACT scores than any other racial group, which is a matter of concern (Anderson, 2016). The achievement gap is dangerous not only for African Americans but also for the wellbeing of the entire nation, as it spreads inequality.
The problem of the achievement gap is present in Virginia, which was confirmed by SOL scores. According to Virginia Department of Education (VDoE, 2020) African Americans have lowere average scores on the achievement tests. In particular, in Virginia, the average SOL scores of Whites were 86 in reading, 85 in writing, 91 in history and social sciences, 86 in mathematics, and 89 in science (Associated Press, 2020).
At the same time, African Americans scored were 67 in reading, 65 in writing, 75 in history and social sciences, 68 in mathematics, and 69 in science (Associated Press, 2020). In other words, the average score of African Americans in all the subject areas are lower by 20 points. These differences in the SOL scores demonstrate a significant achievement gap among High School graduates.
Anderson, J. (2015). Addressing racial inequity in curriculum and school culture. Harvard News and Events. Web.
Virginia Department of Education. (2020). SOL test results. VDoE. Web.
Gilar, R., Veas, A., Miñano, P., & Castejón, J. L. (2019). Differences in personal, familial, social, and school factors between underachieving and non-underachieving gifted secondary students. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 2367-2377.
King, L. J. (2017). The status of black history in US schools and society. Social Education, 81(1), 14-18.