There has been very little progress in closing the Black/White achievement gap in education. Here, author Mano Singham takes a look at this problem in the context of larger political realities and contends that in order to understand this gap, we must determine what is happening within the educational system as a whole. The Achievement Gap in U.S. Education examines: Why learning is viewed negatively by students, Why good teaching practices are relatively rare in U.S. schools, Why poor teaching practices occur more frequently in minority and poor districts, Why the accountability movement and its emphasis on high-stakes tests will fail to produce improvements. This book identifies: Factors that lead to widespread underachievement, Professional development programs necessary to produce good teaching practices, Negative political and social consequences of the achievement gap, Common myths about its cause such as socio-economic status, social pathologies, and biology, Success stories where the gap has been closed or narrowed dramatically.
This book will be of interest to teachers, school administrators, parents, members of minority groups, and anyone else interested in improving education. The suggested solutions to this problem are such that almost all stakeholders in education can support them and will benefit from them.
Mano Singham is director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education and adjunct associate professor of physics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Part 1 Acknowledgments Chapter 2 1 Introduction Chapter 3 2 Education in the Broad Political Context Chapter 4 3 Myths about the Achievement Gap Chapter 5 4 The Case against the Genetic Model Chapter 6 5 Income, Wealth, and the Achievement Gap Chapter 7 6 Other Possible Causes of the Gap Chapter 8 7 Success Stories and What We Can Learn from Them Chapter 9 8 Why Good Teaching Matters and What It Takes to Achieve It Chapter 10 9 Why Good Teaching Practices Are Relatively Rare in U.S. Schools and Even Rarer in Poor and Minority Schools Chapter 11 10 How and Why Did It Get This Way? Part 12 Index Part 13 About the Author