Closing the achievement gap

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Chapter 1

Definition of the Problem

The American education experienced long and sustained period of school reforms filled with significant challenges. The policymakers as well as the governors made the school reform movement their top project priority since the 1980s (Sindelar, Shearer, Yendol-Hoppey & Liebert, 2006). The school reform movement undergone profound 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.

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The National Governors Association for Best Practices is looking into the achievement gap challenge facing the schools today (Grant, 2009). This requires creating new policies and developing old policies to close in the achievement gap problems happening in several states. The policy primer discloses the nature of the achievement gap 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.

Understanding the achievement gap context

The achievement gap context is all about the differences one sees between people coming from different race and class (Chubb & Loveless, 2002). There is an increasing difference concerning the performance of students coming from the disadvantaged minority as compared to the performance demonstrated by white students of the same grade level (Chubb & Loveless, 2002).

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 diversified society. The challenge goes on with the creation of correct policy that could help close the achievement gap.

Federal response to the urgent persisting achievement gap problem

The No Child Left Behind Act or NCLB is an attempt by the Federal government to close the achievement gap (Chamberlain, 2004). The policy set forth a new accountability practice for American schools to set the same standards with detailed plan for testing performance to ensure students meet preset 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 supplemental services as well as choices to study at other schools operating within the same district (Chamberlain, 2004). 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 (Chamberlain,

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