Educational Achievement Gaps: Causes and Impacts

The educational achievement gap is the difference between an individual’s level of knowledge prior to and after getting educated. In the United States, the educational achievement gap focuses on measuring persistent differences in educational achievement among students. The achievement gaps are measured in many ways, including standardized test scores, average grades, dropout rates, and college enrollment and completion rates. Factors that contribute to the educational achievement gap are local racial/ethnic differences, the differences in parental income and parental educational achievement, the average educational level of local communities, and racial/ethnic segregation patterns.

The educational achievement gap exists in every country. I want to focus on the educational achievement gap in China. Currently, China’s economic growth is starting to stifle, although the number of people affected by the prosperity that originated in the nation’s economic rise is increasing. Despite the efforts to bridge the educational gap, which persists in China, the divide between rural and urban Chinese communities in terms of education remains considerable. There are no drastic ethnic differences in China, but there are regional ones. The living standards are constantly increasing, yet there is still a big gap between urban and rural development. Urbanized population attaches great importance to education. Thus, in addition to regular-quality education, city residents might provide their offspring with an opportunity to attend extracurricular classes to strengthen their comprehensive ability.

However, people in the countryside pay little attention to education because the general education level is not very high. In fact, many families do not depend on improving education to survive. This has led many children to drop out of school and start working immediately after they finish junior high school, which is a non-negotiable state requirement. Moreover, most people in cities have enough financial resources to send their children to college, while many families in poor areas do not. Some families find it hard to support even the most basic needs of their children, let alone secure enough financial resources to send them to college. As a result, the Chinese population faces a rising threat of expanding the regional educational gap.

The educational achievement gap has a great impact on individuals and society. For individuals, if the educational achievement gap is large, those with low achievement will not be able to find a good job, which will directly affect the quality of their life in the future. If society only screened by educational achievement, a large number of talents would be lost. Educational achievement is not the standard to measure whether a person is good or not, but it does become the basis of screening in modern society. Sometimes not having a good degree simply means not having access to good resources.

In the context of sociological imagination, it is evident that the relationship between an individual’s education level and wider society is exceptionally crucial. Globally, if a person were highly intelligent and had attended a respectable institution, they would be regarded much more highly than someone without any such accolades. The Chinese hierarchy, in particular, depends on the concept of social status. The only reliable way for an individual to move up the intricate Chinese social ladder is through the power of education. Thus, an educational gap between urban and rural regions is an extremely alarming issue since it puts those from smaller villagers at a disadvantage in Chinese society. Research demonstrates that “there are concerns about growing inequality of educational opportunity in China” (Gruijters et al. 214). It is much harder for a person from a rural area to get a proper education, find well-paying job opportunities, and, as a result, reach a higher social status. In the long term, this issue can become a serious concern in the ability of rural Chinese communities to accumulate and transfer wealth from generation to generation.

The educational achievement gap is now a problem that every country wants to address. Awarding scholarships, increasing awareness of the benefits of education, and even mandatory policies are all viable solutions to possibly close the educational achievement gap. On the one hand, there has been evident progress in how China approaches bridging the educational gap. On the other hand, it is crucial to acknowledge the nation’s authorities still have a long way to go in regard to education equality, particularly as it relates to upward social mobility.

Work Cited

Gruijters, Rob J., et al. “Trends in Educational Mobility: How Does China Compare to Europe and the United States?” Chinese Journal of Sociology, vol. 5, no. 2, 2019, pp. 214–240, Web.

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ChalkyPapers. (2023, April 15). Educational Achievement Gaps: Causes and Impacts. Retrieved from


ChalkyPapers. (2023, April 15). Educational Achievement Gaps: Causes and Impacts.

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ChalkyPapers. 2023. "Educational Achievement Gaps: Causes and Impacts." April 15, 2023.

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ChalkyPapers. "Educational Achievement Gaps: Causes and Impacts." April 15, 2023.