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    Academic Achievement among Low-Income American Kids

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    What are the reasons why children from low-income families tend to have lower levels of academic achievement than children from more affluent families?

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    OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

    Academic Achievement Gap

    In the US, the achievement gap between children from low-income families and affluent families are observed via a host of measures including standardized test scores, college enrolment rates, completion rates and drop-out rates. Additionally however, what is interesting to society and government is to find out the reasons/factors that determine academic performance that result to alarming achievement gaps. Virginia Tech in 2000 conducted a study and came to a conclusion that ethnic cultural and social structures and economics influence the widening achievement gap. Lower income families just cannot afford and provide the life chances and opportunities as well as the time and support skills and facilities that their children need/can utilise in order for them to see and appreciate the need for education and achievement; or, even if they do realise the importance of education and achievement, their environment does not support it and they do not have the cultural capital and the economic means to take on the academic challenge. In low-income families, the focus is immediate needs and family culture revolve around it. If children can devote their time to work to help support their own needs, then they are encouraged. Parents generally do not go out of their way to promote the need for a university education seeing as they are generally expensive. The source of their justification is their own cultural experience and this is limited within the sphere of their community which share the same view. As such, the motivation for education is not instilled ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides assistance, advice, insight and information to help students tackle the questions (see above) on the topic of academic achievement gap in the US, in particular among low-income and African-American kids. References are included in the solution. A word version is also attached.