The Achievement Gap: African American Children in Low-Income Communities


The achievement gap is a huge barrier in pushing education forward in the modern day of United States, and is a problem that needs to be looked at in close detail. The gap occurs when a group of students – a minority, gender, or socioeconomic group – consistently falls below another group of students on standardized tests. The gap can effect students throughout their career and can be held responsible for low graduation rates. For the purpose of this thesis, only the gap between low-income, African American children and their Caucasian counterparts was taken into consideration. Literature was reviewed to identify the causes of the gap, which include disruptive behavior in the classroom, a breakdown in understanding of common social norms, and a unique family structure. Finally, proposals to close this gap – including family outreach, utilization of afterschool programs, and bringing effective teachers into at risk schools – were discussed in detail.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-14-2013


Diana Porter

Mentor Department Affiliation

Curriculum and Instruction

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Curriculum and Instruction

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