The opportunity gap is something that many nations and states are struggling with when it comes to the education of their communities. In many places there are areas where some students have a better chance or “opportunity” to a better education due to location and wealth. In Oregon, we can say that this gap is very true and existing.
With that in mind it not only depends on location and money, but also on the race of some of these students and how that has in turn affected the scores that are received. This in turn has also affected the narrow or wideness of the gap, because if american students are scoring an average result, but hispanic or african american students are scaring very low. This creates a large gap between each race and can be interpreted as the american students as being “smarter”, even though they just scored an average result.
Also, when looking at these racial gaps in education, the home and live environment of each child needs to be taken into account. Many of the children that come from minorities, not always have the same access to resources as those who come from white, educated families.
I believe that one way to help close this ongoing gap would be to start from the source. Yes, it is very helpful to have programs that help children in minorities have an opportunity to some of these resources (like homework help and access to technology), but I believe that there is a better solution. I think that helping these families get out of poverty and/or provide them with the needed education will have that much more of an impact. If the parents of the children are given these tools and are helped to find a better job, then in turn those befits and lifestyle changes with positively impact the student. They will be able to ask questions at home where they are being helped, or maybe the school can provide technology resources that the child can take home in order to complete school assignments. These kinds of changes are a way out of this gap that does not seem to close.
Other questions to think about:
- What other strategies could be used to help parents and teachers provide a better learning environment for children in minorities, in the classroom and at home?
- How does the student’s home environment affect their performance in school?