Closing the Achievement Gap

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Closing the achievement gap in education is an important goal for many educators. The American education experienced a long and sustained period of school reforms, filled with significant challenges. The Policymakers as well as governors have made the school reform movement their top project priority since the 1980s. The school reform movement undergone major achievements in the past and continues to tackle significant challenges although it has achieved its goal in creating changes to school conditions, student performance, and institutional policy. One of the foremost goals is closing the achievement gap in education.

Understanding the Gap in Achievement

Closing the achievement gap is all about equalizing opportunities among people coming from different races and / or economic background. There is an increasing difference concerning the performance of students coming from the disadvantaged priority as compared to the performance demonstrated by white students of the same grade level. This achievement gap is a clear issue of racism and the effects of the power of the privilege. Educational institutions, educators, and policymakers face genuine lack of understanding creating and developing schools that can cope up with the context of a diverse society. The challenge goes on with the creation of correct policy that could help in closing the achievement gap.

Policies for Closing the Achievement Gap

The National Governors Association for Best Practices is looking into the achievement gap challenge facing the schools today. This requires creating new policies and developing old policies for closing the achievement gap occurring in the United States and globally, among the poor and minority ethnic groups. The policy primer discloses the nature of the achievement problem, its history, and the different state's efforts to solve the existing problem. The primer also discusses alternative solutions and strategies at state level including important issues and factors to avoid in implementing solutions.

The No Child Left Behind Act or NCLB is an attempt by the Federal government for closing the achievement gap. The policy set forth a new accounting practice for American schools to set the same standards with detailed plan for testing performance to ensure students meet presets standards of the schools. The framework of the NCLB allows a student to transfer to other schools located at the same district if he fails to pass the test performance set by the school. It is the responsibility of the school district to provide persistently failing students supplementary services as well as choices to study at other schools operating within the same district. The school needs to demonstrate adequate progress about the problems of persistently failing students. Failure to show progress makes them open for state law corrective action.

The schools focus their performance goals based on the conditions of the students with disabilities and coming from disadvantaged family backgrounds. This includes students who possess limited English language skills and proficiency. However, well performing schools are still required to alter school practices, policies, and governance to accelerate and enhance the educational experience of the disadvantaged group of students. The state observers a school as well performing only when they became successful in closing the achievement gap. The intervention of the new Federal law on the educational scene has created quite a stir among schools struggling to meet the new set of policies and criteria.

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