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Academic Achievement Gap

Create a group presentation on any issue about the US economy or state of education. Create at least 20 slides and answer the following questions: what is the issues? What are the arguments? What are the politicalimplications? what are your sources? What is your position and conclusion?


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Dear Student,
Hi. When answering a problem like this, you have to be creative. Please note how I put an answer together for you - first establish a structure/outline after you have decided on a presentation idea. Economy is very broad. Try education. Education is always a very good bet because you can make it as narrow as possible. Why narrow? This means that you can make a solid presentation that tackles a topic and provides a good story that isn't all over the place. Topics that are too broad can bring too many ideas into a presentation and this does not make a presentation hit all the necessary angles as the topic can require so much ground to cover. Now, having decided on education, what topic could be narrow and yet important and relevant enough to tackle? How about focusing on achievement gap in the US? So what should be our main 'topics' of discussion? I suggest the following:

1. Achievement Gap in American Education - introducing the relevant topics and concerns according to news and published research - 3 slides
2. Achievement Gap among African-American Males - 5 slides
3. Achievement Gap between social classes & Ethnicity - 5 slides
4. Achievement Gap and Life Chances - 4 slides
5. Possible Solutions to Achievement gap - 3 slides
6. References - 1 slide

Having decided on this, we now have 21 potential slides which should cover the requirement. What next then? What we will do is design a presentation that introduces the social issue, the pertinent & related data as well as ideas and present solutions. Obviously, we have to include current government efforts as well. This is because your course instructor requires you to. Afterwards, we will look for resources that will give you this information so that you can present them in your PPT. I have compiled this for this particularly suggested topic and as before, the PPT design ought to come from you. I have created a Text-Guide that makes suggestions about what each slide should contain. If you have any questions, just let me know. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Slide 1

Title: Achievement Gap in the US


What is Achievement Gap and why should we be concerned about it? Achievement Gap is that disparity of academic performance according to established measures between groups of students from varied sectors across society especially that established between students coming from different genders and socioeconomic plus ethnic backgrounds. The established standards have been put in place to ensure that students get to attain a particular level and quality of education. Education is seen as an essential tool for improving life chances, to prepare the younger generations for complex roles in society, to help them survive and thrive in the future, and in turn, to ensure that our society, in their hands, progress well. Quality education and a bright future go hand in hand and as such massive gaps are worrying as it indicates far bigger problems in society.

Slide 2

Title: US Achievement Gap


Is there an achievement Gap in the US? According to US National Center For Education Statistics (NAEP, 2011),

"Achievement gaps occur when one group of students outperforms another group and the difference in average scores for the two groups is statistically significant (that is, larger than the margin of error). The NAEP reports on the Hispanic-White achievement gap and the Black-White achievement gap use NAEP scores in mathematics and reading for these groups to illuminate patterns and changes in these gaps over time."

While Givewell (2011) Charity group relate that,

"People who grow up in low-income households face significant hardships compared to those who do not: they are less likely to succeed in school, less likely to obtain high educational degrees, more likely to have low incomes, and even more likely to be incarcerated. People from minority backgrounds (a characteristic that largely overlaps with low socioeconomic status) show underperformance on these measures as well. We use the term "achievement gap" as a general reference to these sorts of disparities, which reflect the idea that some people in our society are apparently less likely to succeed - by both academic and career-related measures - from the day they enter school."

This therefore confirms that achievement gaps in the US are part and parcel of the academic reality across America and the disparities are rooted to a host of factors that go beyond academic performance - socio-economic factors that mirror social issues within American Society.

Slide 3

Title: US Achievement Gap Focus & Concerns

For this presentation, I have focused on the following concerns: Achievement gaps within African-American males and how this relates to 'Black Criminality', achievement gaps, social classes and ethnicity and what these gaps imply, and Achievement Gap and life-chances. I have also put together information on measures to take-on achievement gap including suggested measures for the purpose of improvement. These topics by no means cover the entire subject matter of achievement gap but they are enough to present some of the main debates and concerns.

Slide 4

Title: African-American Male Achievement Gap

The topic of African-American male achievement gap is of interest as recent studies have shown that the recidivism in relation to Black Male criminality is extremely high (PEW, 2011). Is part of the reason behind such high criminality recidivism numbers is due to education, specifically a lack thereof? If education is supposed to provide skills and new opportunities, then it serves that lack of education can lead to the opposite. It is therefore possible to propose that significant African-American male academic achievement gap signifies the turn to criminality and gang influence within communities where these gaps are prevalent to the point that they have become the norm. CBS News (2010) reports:

"According to a new study released Tuesday by the Council of the Great City Schools, by fourth grade only 12 percent of black male students read at or above grade level, while 38 percent of white males do. By eighth grade it falls to just 9 percent for black males, 33 percent for whites. Black male students are almost twice as likely as white males to drop out of school. And in some big American cities the dropout rate is around 50 percent."

Slide 5

Title: Why the Concern?

AOL News (2010) believed that concurrently, in African-American males, academic achievement is in a state of crisis. Mary Gay (2010) essays:

"How many studies does it take to prove there ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advice in tackling the issue of academic achievement gap in the US and suggesting an outline for a 20-point slide that tackles the subject. resources are rested for further exploration of the topic.