Sunday, February 24, 2019
The African American Achievement Gap:
The Afri clear American Achievement Gap Why is it in that respect and What fucking be D nonp beil Are scurrilous Americans Dumber than White Americans? Can it unequivoc tout ensembley be stated that European Americans hold more apprehension thus African Americans? Are African Americans genetic bothy wired to bedevil a lesser mental capacity then European Americans? For a long time this was the write up to a burning chore. African Americans gradation dismay than White Americans on vocabulary, reading, and mathematics tests, as well as on tests that claim to measure scholastic aptitude and intelligence. This shift appears before children enter kindergarten and it persists into adulthood. The typical American ghastly yet scores on a freeze off floor 75 percent of American uncloudeds on most similar tests. On some tests the typical American nasty scores below more than 85 percent of colors. (CHRISTOPHER, JENCKS) This test score gap is not an necessary concomit ant of nature. It is unfeigned that the gap shrinks merely a niggling when discolor and duster children attend the same schools. It is also true that the gap shrinks unaccompanied a little when shameful and white families wangle believe the same sum total of schooling, the same in begin, and the same wealth.However, after extensive research, no ane has free-base either evidence saying that low-spiriteds bear less intellectual world power than whites. So what causes this gap in test scores? several(prenominal) belongings it to the culture of African Americans. They say that African Americans are uninterested in learning and gaint seek to pursue academic excellence. around impute the gap to testing conditions. Some attribute it to concepts such as White Guilt and pigeonhole Threat. (Will be explained later) I however cannot attribute it to any one involvement. This whole issue cannot be explained by one concept.Rather then filter outing to describe the operati on gap with one concept, I attribute it to a confederacy of compositiony. The cogitate for the perceived gap in test scores is an intricate combination of things such as Stereotype nemesis, White Guilt, and Culture. On this issue, Thomas Sowell tugs the position that this gap has nothing to do with racism or pelt along. Sowell says, For more than of the first half(prenominal) of the 20th century, these differences were attributed to slipstream-that is, to an precondition that blacks precisely did not have it in their genes to do as well as white people.The tide began to turn in the second half of the 20th Century, when the assumption developed that black-white differences were due to racism on the fr operation of whites. (Sowell, Thomas) However, his research showed something different. With his study at Harvard, he noticed that most of the black alumni were either from the due west Indies or Africa, or were the children of West Indian or African immigrants. These peo ple are the same race as American blacks, who corkingly outnumber either or both. (Sowell, Thomas) This completely dispels the idea of race being a factor. So what does cause the gap?Sowell conceptualizes Culture does. His important argument is that the culture from so-called rednecks from Europe caused this uneducated culture seen in blacks. He says, The culture of the people who were called rednecks and crackers before they ever got on the boats to cross the Atlantic was a culture that produce far lower levels of intellectual and economic motion, as well as blue levels of military group and sexual promiscuity. (Sowell, Thomas) Now the most important points raised are that only a third of whites tolerated in this culture while 90% of blacks live in it.Of course culture fades a authority til nowtually but, it has very slow down inside the black community especially in the worst black ghettos in the country. This is a culture of counter productivity and self-destruction. S owell says all blacks are regarded this way. However, the question has to be asked can this really be apply to all blacks? It really cant. Culture can be a well-grounded explanation for this particular group of black people but it does not prove anything for all blacks. Not all blacks are from the ghetto.Some actually come from prominent, stable homes. Some actually come from the same environment as successful whites and Langston Hughes takes a look at some of these people. Hughes also takes the idea of culture but he examines it from the view of blacks that are not stuck in the ghetto but have stable backgrounds. Hughes takes the view that blacks are actually clogging themselves. He says that at that place is a huge obstacle standing in the way of every black person. He actually dresss a write about artist but it can be viewed as any black person.He says the obstacle is, this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to burgeon forth racial individuality into the mol d of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible. (Hughes, Langston) His example is a poet. This poet subconsciously wants to be white because he finds it allow make him a better poet. This poet comes from a strong background in the middle class. jibe to Hughes, they attend church the father has a steady job the amaze shits on occasion and the children attend mixed schools.However, the problem comes with how the parents carry on their children. The mother says things kindred, Dont be like niggers when the children are bad. In turn the father says things like, Look how well a white man does things. So in this home and many another(prenominal) others, black is not praised or celebrated it is taught to be ashamed of. They are taught to want to be white. It is lurch what blacks do to themselves because of this. Fist Hughes says the more predominant dont dungeon their own people.His example is that, A Negro clubwoman in Philadelphia pa id cardinal dollars to hear Raquel Meller sing Andalusian popular songs. But she told me a few weeks before she would not think of going to hear that woman. Clara Smith, a great artist, sing Negro folk songs. (Hughes, Langston) This is the problem with many blacks. They dont support their own people in anything because they dont feel it will be recognized by whites and, that is ultimately what they want. Hughes also alludes to how blacks dont support their own until whites do.His example is a young saturnine writer who had been writing well for the colored magazines for some years, but it was not until he recently broke into the white publications and his first book was accepted by a prominent New York publisher that the best Negros in his city similarlyk the trouble to disc all over that he lived there. (Hughes, Langston) The key here is white. foreboding(a)s are afraid to be who they are because white is seen as the ultimate goal. Black is seen as small. So can this be a pplied to test victorious? It certainly can. If blacks are feeling inferior then their test transaction cannot be as good as whites.Hughes is saying that being black is a hindrance that was built by blacks ourselves. But can this motionlessness be applied to all blacks. No it cant because not all blacks come from households where white power is subconsciously feed to them. Some come from homes where black is celebrated. But for some reason the gap is still there but wherefore? Shelby Steeles position on the be is based on the opening of White Guilt. White Guilt is a vacuum of moral authority in matters of race, equality and opportunity that comes from the connector of mere white skin with Americas historical racism.It is the stigmatisation of whites and, more importantly, American institutions with the sin of racism. (Steele, Shelby) Simply message that all white institutions are doing w nauseatever they have to do not to appear anti-Semite(a). gibe to Steele this started right after the civil-rights movement. Where he believes that blacks made, the greatest miscalculation in black American history. (Steele, Shelby) He says, we allowed ourselves to see a greater power in Americas liability for our oppression than we saw in ourselves. (Steele, Shelby) This meaning blacks saw an opportunity to get ineffectual because they thought they could get more out of pickings what whites give rather then lap uping to take their own. According to Steele, blacks have been living in an age of white viciousness for about a few decades now. So Steele is taking the position that the achievement gap is where it is at because blacks do not have to work as much as they did before. Steele uses the example of a University. There is no way that they would admit students retributive based on academia because chances are there would be little to no black faces at the University.This university would be called racist and scrutinized heavily. In Modern time, it is politica lly temper to include blacks in all walks of life. During the Civil Rights Movement, being black was terrible thing. You were punished for it. Today blacks are rewarded for it in many ways. It is good but bad also. This age of white guilt is a time where the black person lives in a society that postulate his race for the good it wants to do more than it needs his individual self. His race makes him popular with the white institutions and unifies him with blacks. (Steele, Shelby) This however limits him as a person.This gives him less desire to work grueling. Whats the point when things will just be put in his hand anyway? Steele uses Dr. Cornel West as an example. Dr. West was promoted to a dependable professorship at Harvard, which is a very high honor. However Steele says, It was never Cornel West-the individual- that Harvard wanted it was the defanged withstand identity that he carried, which redounded to the university as racial innocence itself. How could anyone charge th is university with racism when it promoted Cornel West to its higher reaches? (Steele, Shelby) So there lies the main point. Dr.West achieved high position by doing less work. This is Steeles explanation as to why the achievement gap is there. Blacks simply do not have to work as great(p) as they once did to succeed because the whites are too eager for the moral authority black skin offers them. (Steele, Shelby) Can this explanation be applied to all blacks? Again some blacks are acquit from this. Some take the easy way out and take full advantage of things like affirmative action. However, some do actually work at what they do. But, for some reason, there is still a gap within this group that is working hard. Why is that? Claude M.Steele offers the concept of Stereotype Threat as the reason this gap exists. Stereotype threat is the threat of being viewed with the lens of a negative assort, or the fear of doing something that would inadvertently endorse that stump. (Steele, Claude M) Stereotype threat can be used to explain the reason that hard working goal oriented black Americans raise to the achievement gap. When it comes to matters of race, it is assumed that a particular situation is experienced in much the same way by different groups of people. This is especially assumed to be true in test taking.However, this is often times not true for blacks. Steele says, But for black students, difficulty with the test makes the negative class pertinent as an interpretation of their performance, and of them. They recognise that they are especially likely to be seen as having limited ability. (Steele, Claude M) It is not that blacks are in anyway inferior its just a certain hug is always put on them when doing things like taking test. This is because tests are often given as a test to measure ability, so because of the negative emboss blacks feel an added pressure and succumb to it.From one experiment- focusing on vocabulary- Steele performed on black and white students, his conclusion came to be that, When black students were told that the test would measure ability, they completed the fragments with significantly more stereotype-related words that when they were told that it was not a measure of ability. Now the thing about stereotype threat is that it is not like the self filling prophecy. They dont think they will perform inadequately and then in-turn score low. Steele says Stereotype threat, is something different something external the situational threat of being negatively stereotyped. So Stereotype threat can be applied to hard working black Americans because it only exist if they care that the negative stereotype is there. So these students actually work so hard to disprove the stereotype that they actually hinder themselves. For one of Steeles experiments he noticed this to be true. He says, Black students taking the test under stereotype threat seemed to be trying to hard rather than not hard enough. They reread the question, reread the multiple choice, and recheck their answers, more then when they were not under stereotype threat. (Steele, Claude M) So what this did was make the test takers inefficient. If you think to long on regulate to you are automatically hindering a very good score. So the reason hard working black Americans contribute to the gap is evident. But, like it was previously stated, not all black Americans actually work hard so this cannot be the only reason the gap exist. I believe the gap exist because of a combination of a few of the afore mentioned arguments. Yes Sowells point is valid but the culture argument cannot be applied to all blacks.Yes Langston Hughes point is valid but his aspect of culture cannot be applied to all blacks. The same goes for both Shelby and Claude Steele. Applying one of these theories to an entire race of people to explain the gap in test scores will just not suffice. I can honestly say that throughout my life experiences that I have seen every surmise for myself. I have seen and lived among the people that these theories apply to and I believe that it all culminates to create the observed gap between African Americans and other ethnic groups.Sowell is absolutely correct when he says there is a self destructive, counterproductive culture in the nations ghettos. Everyone I know from these areas thinks that way. They do not like learning they hate hard work and are content being at the lower rungs of life. So when the children do go to school and take there standardized test, more often then not, they dont try. They have a whatever attitude towards it. And for the few that do try, they just arent fain because the people around them and raising them have this disdain towards learning.I have a close connection with people who embody the White Guilt theory and the Stereotype threat idea. I have lived with it all of my life and I can say it has affected me. In high school and even in college I have seen an abundance of students who are whole-heartedly living in the age of white guilt. Its not that they dont try its just they do enough to get by because they know if they make it to a certain point, aids like affirmative action and minority quotas will take them where they need to go. So when it comes to test taking they do try, but wont stress themselves out over it.Although they are just as smart as their white counterparts, they just dont see the need to put in the purposeless effort. Students that experience stereotype threat are just as prevalent. I can say that I fit into this mold. These students do in fact try to hard. They try so hard to prove the stereotype upon they actually end of proving it. They try so hard not to make mistakes on the test that they do. They try so hard not to contribute to the gap, they actually do. So the reason the gap exist is a combination of many different people that come from different demographics and situations.All of these added together make the achievem ent gap in test scores. It is clear to see that this gap cannot be explained by one theory. Too many blacks come from to many different situations for this to be the strip. So we can see that when these are added up it amounts to the gap in test scores among other things. So how can it be get uped? Just like there is not one factor contributing to the gap, there is not one way to fix the gap. The solution would be more of a chain reaction effect. The problem starts in the privileged city where the lazy I dont care attitude is prevalent.These are the people that create the negative stereotype black people have. So the blacks that are doing better than these people and are trying to do better in life have to hold in the burden that the ghetto blacks place on them. The people that apply to Hughes theory are ashamed of them. The people in Shelby Steeles theory are lazy because the world is trying to integrate them (the ghetto blacks). And the people in Claude Steeles theory are work ing so hard to overcome the stereotype the ghetto blacks have placed on them.Until the blacks from the inner city change nothing will. The blacks in the higher rungs of life cant change their ways, in this case test taking ways, until the burden placed on them is lifted. So until the inner city mentality changes, the gap will forever be there. flora Cited CHRISTOPHER, JENCKS. The Black-White Test Score Gap. The New York Times. 1998. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. . Hughes, Langston. The Negro Artist and the racial Mountain (1926). Welcome to English Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois. 926. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. . Sowell, Thomas. Thomas Sowell halt by Their Culture. OrthodoxyToday. org Home. 26 Apr. 2005. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. . Steele, Shelby. The Age of White Guilt and the slicing of the Black Individual. CIR Home. Nov. 2002. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. . Steele, Claude M. Thin Ice Stereotype Threat and Black College Students 99. 08. The Atlantic News and Analysis on P olitics, Business, Culture, Technology, National, International, and Food a? TheAtlantic. com. 1999. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. .