The 21st Century Civil Rights Issue

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2010 at 10:40 am

“The average African American public school twelfth grader´s performance on academic measures approximates that of the average white eighth grader.” This is a statement from Drs. Rod Paige and Elaine Witty’s book The Black White Achievement Gap: Why Closing It Is One of Greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time. According to Tonya Pendleton, the National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that African Americans children fall behind as early as kindergarten and generally do not make up the achievement gap.

Former Secretary of Education Paige says that “The primary cause of the black-white achievement gap is that low-achieving students have been deprived of the educational essentials which support learning to high levels.” President Obama has recently announced changes to No Child Left Behind. According to Sam Dillion of The New York Times the proposed changes include “how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency.”

Paige believes “Rather than continue the age-old controversy about the causes of the achievement gap and rather than continue to look outward and blame racism and discrimination, African-American leaders must look inward and move forward. My goal for ‘The Black-White Achievement Gap’ is to compel African-American leaders to work together and with educators to create a high level of school quality across America, and with service-oriented and faith-based organizations, corporations, policy makers and parents to implement [changes].”


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