One of the primary concerns for educators in the U.S. has been providing quality and equal education to every learner, regardless of their origin. Today, an achievement gap persists since African American students consider themselves failures and become deviant due to insufficient school resources.
Many years after the Civil Rights movement, black and white Americans still live in completely different worlds. In the article, “The Gaps Between White and Black America, in Charts,” Sharkey et al. (2020) argue that the inequality observed in the American culture is not accidental. Instead, it has emerged as a result of policy choices. Over the years, lawmakers have failed to push for a policy that ensures that black neighborhoods receive the required resources in learning institutions. On the contrary, the current policies have only made it increasingly easy for whites to reside in specific communities separate from those that are dominated by unemployed youth. The rate of college completion is significantly lower among minorities. Further, a majority of the educators are white and this compounds the problem owing to stereotypes and racial bias.
One of the propositions examining this disparity is Merton’s strain theory which emphasizes pursuing cultural goals through formal means such as schooling and talent (Macionis, 2019). A student who attends an understaffed institution where there is a high achievement gap is likely to perceive themselves as a failure. Similarly, the scapegoat theory that is premised on the notion that prejudice emanates from frustration among disadvantaged persons explains the learning disparity (Macionis, 2019). African American students become deviant and may engage in crime. This disrupts their academic-related work as they have limited time to concentrate on learning.
In summary, schools in black neighborhoods have limited resources and Merton’s strain theory argues that this makes the learners consider themselves failures. Further, it triggers the students to develop deviant behaviors that hinder their schoolwork.
Macionis, J. (2019). Sociology (17th ed.). Revel.
Sharkey, P., Taylor, K., & Serkez, Y. (2020). The gaps between white and black America, in charts. The New York Times. Web.