Tracking Education Groups – The Academic Achievement Gap

Investigators lack any clear clue as to why the gap has been widening among the racial groups. Organizational along with cultural aspects were responsible for the growing inconsistency. Comparatively, students hailing from backward classes perform poorly. Such students obtained low test scores and performed below average, especially in cases of negligent or absentee parenting. Annete Lareau, a famous sociologist, said that students who enjoyed superior privileges also performed better academically and in their lives later on. A few other researchers feel that a student’s ability to accomplish better academically was dependent on his socioeconomic status and the race from he came. It is quite obvious that students from subjugated group have to face the negative impact of achievement gap owing to their lowly position as against their White counterparts.The society, customs, faiths, social roles and the atmosphere around the students affect his functioning and are important elements have be taken into consideration while the root cause of achievement gap is being dealt with. A researcher will do well to investigate the lifestyle, surroundings, financial status and habits of the minor group of disadvantaged students so that he will be able to get a clearer picture of the cultural gap. This will assist him in getting an explanation as regards the existing relationship between the child and parents among the families of the ethnic groups. It is the environment that encourages a child to perform academically better. Authors like Jencks and Philips say that a Black student does poorly at school merely due to ignorance of the advantages of education and gaining the related skills. Without being aware, Black students enter school with limited vocabulary at their command compared to the Whites.Results of studies conducted reveal that greater the parental participation in academics of their child better is his performance at school. Children from single parent Black minority group are too busy making ends meet to pay attention to the child’s academics such as his home assignment. The minority group of Blacks also includes parents who are unable to speak, understand, write or read English. In this way, a child gets very little support from non-English speakers at home and is deprived of parental involvement in their educational undertakings.Children from low-income family backgrounds are forced to attend badly funded schools because they lack financial resources to pay for better forms of education or to move to a district with better education. Schools categorized as poorly funded do not have sufficient resources and are therefore compelled to hire the services of teachers who are ill-qualified. The problem of achievement gap between backward classes was attempted to be abridged by the schools by initiating tracking education groups. Basically this was the placing of students the same school in groups with homogenous learning prowess and skills. Then the schools customized the lesson plans of the teachers to best meet individual group’s requirements and ability to learn.This program worked wonders for the progress of some learners. But some of the schools did not go about it in the right way. They segregated students into groups based on their socioeconomic background. This resulted in the oppressed class from being further degraded and the objective was not met since the groups of Hispanics and African-American were placed in the lowest strata. The school’s underlying policy of racism was clearly seen when it placed all the Hispanic and Afro-Americans in one group. This reaffirmed the belief of a few researchers that the constituting of tracking education groups was a clear indicator of schools’ strategies that encouraged racial discrimination.Ample proof of negative results was obtained regarding tracking education groups. There was, in fact, further harm caused since the minority tracking education group had teachers who were not qualified enough. The curriculum designed for less privileged students was less beneficial and did not offer the opportunity for their progress in the field of academics. The friends and the teachers often branded them as slow on the uptake. This demoralized the students, undermining their self-esteem and confidence. Thus the number of dropouts from such groups grew. Psychologists involved said that tracking education groups was not beneficial for every group. Moreover, they were unable to see its long-lasting gains.