A major and pressing problem facing educators, particularly in the context of the current national agenda for achieving scholastic success for every student, is the consistent finding of a differential relationship between low, average, and high academic achievement in different groups of ethnic minority students. The research base shows a striking gap in achievement between Asian American and European American students on the one hand, and African American, Hispanic, and Native American students, on the other hand. The latter groups tend to have lower scores on tests that measure scholastic aptitude, as well as on those that test vocabulary, reading, and math abilities.
This gap, which appears early in life and persists into adulthood, cannot simply be attributed to race. The research base indicates differences in achievement potential between African American and Latino males and females. among Caribbean and Continental-born residents; and among middle and lower class minority students. Even more troubling is the finding of increasing differences even for students with economic advantages. Some school districts known for their traditions of academic excellence now face the challenge of serving an increasingly diverse group of students, including minority students from relatively affluent families who show significant gaps in their patterns of academic achievement.
Traditional explanations of the gap, such as social, environmental, and genetic causes, have not gone far in understanding and filling the achievement gap. This article summarizes the state of our knowledge about the factors that influence the achievement of children of ethnic minorities, and strategies for success including some relatively new explanations.
The paper discusses the implications for policy, programs, and practices in light of the research findings, and the nature of the immigrant experience as it relates to achievement in schools and access to higher education, specifically in the care of successful minority students, both of which have broader implications for academic improvement. performance among high schools. We propose better ways to identify and support gifted students among minorities, and a notable gender issue: the underrepresentation of female students in science and mathematics. We advocate a fundamental reorientation, above all, of how we treat the economically disadvantaged and uneducated and how we view non-analytical intelligence.
The overall objectives are (a) to develop an integrative synthesis of what is known about effective and promising policies and practices associated with higher academic achievement among students from minority backgrounds and (b) to develop an action plan for implementing effective intervention programs that reduce the achievement gap among minority students.
What is the current state of knowledge about underachieving children of ethnic minorities?
For research to be useful, it must accurately reflect the complexity of the problems faced by students and teachers. For example, the demographic makeup of many parts of the country has become very diverse. Leaders need current and accurate demographic information to effectively plan responses to the challenges that practitioners face because of this diversity.
Information about the history and experiences of children and families is critical to implementing and sustaining change. Because the population of school districts is likely to be diverse, each school district will be unique and its problems and solutions will vary.
Promising practices must be translated on a larger scale; Schools should be aware of what the research says about promising practices.
For large urban school systems serving many poor children, the task is difficult. They must be watched closely to succeed.
More information is needed on how the results will be documented.
What are the main characteristics of effective programs associated with high achievement of ethnic minority youth?
Effective programs target children for special education before they are generalized.
Educational systems and practices must change to reflect the belief that all children are capable of learning. Educators must ensure that all children receive equally good services.
Successful programs provide counseling for students with language and economic disabilities.
The roles of the principal, school council and supervisor in implementing change should be clarified.
Ongoing opportunities should be provided for practitioners and researchers to meet and discuss a range of issues related to student achievement.
What are the implications for developing and modifying software and expanding knowledge of effective software for widespread deployment and implementation?
Schools and communities need to work together, and they need information on how to do this successfully.
Driving must be stabilized, especially in urban areas.
Partnerships should be created that focus on bridging the achievement gap between school districts and institutions.
Teachers should have a comprehensive understanding of the various forms of intelligence.
– Data should be used to minimize mismatches between professional development and the actual needs of students and staff.
The student’s talent should be used in designing extension and school programs.
The perception of schools as a hostile environment for both students and teachers must be reduced.
Clear and high expectations must be set.
Create more teams of teachers who can think and collaborate on critical challenges and design strategies for implementation. Researchers must play a critical advisory role.
Family and community partnerships should be increased by bringing together teachers and students.
District support for schools should be increased.
Students are a valuable resource that must be maximized.