Assignment: Case Study 2 TA012GEDLD
An Analysis of the Case Race, Accountability, and the Achievement Gap by Karen L. Mapp, David A. Thomas, and Tonika Cheek Clayton
The achievement gap in education refers to the disparity in academic performance between demographic groups of students. The achievement gap shows up in grades, state test scores, course selection, and dropout rates. It is often used to describe the poor performance gaps between African-American and Hispanic students, at the lower end of the performance scale, and their white peers, and the similar academic disparity between students from low-income families and those who are better off. The problem context in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) was that the Superintendent uncovered some of those same issues of race and academic barriers impeding the progress of minorities reaching their full potential. This case study problem statement will show how a large, urban public-school district (MCPS) attempts to address and eliminate the school district’s minority achievement gap.
One exploratory question within this case study was “What are the factors that contributed to the achievement gap among the minority students? This case study classified these factors into three categories; District/School factors, Classroom factors, and Student factors. District/School factors were based on inequitable levels of school funding, unequal distribution of highly qualified teachers, and inconsistent process for tracking minority students within special education and advanced classes. Classroom factors are associated with beliefs about student’s ability, racism, and lack of professional development in teaching practices. The last category was student factors which dealt with minority students lacking access to the same enrichment experiences that their middle and upper-class peers have due to their socioeconomic status.
The connection between the MCPS district setting and larger educational context exploring policy are addressing the issues of race and equity across the school district head-on. MCPS recognized that the school district demographics were changing. The Superintendent portrayed the state of the district in a way that caused an emotional response. He also noticed that in previous years that the district really hadn’t invested in the teacher workforce and given them a clear vision of what they all wanted to accomplish. They were measuring things by activity level rather than productivity.
The political implications within the school district and community are MCPS district must adapt and change to produce lifelong learners to handle reality of today’s society. With the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), MCPS district can work toward the goal of helping to guarantee that all students receive a meaningful and well-rounded education and have an opportunity to graduate high school with skills that ens...