Education and the achievement gap have been hot topics in our country for several years now. In fact, it seems like every time you log on to social media you see a new article about it. The problem is that, despite all of this coverage, we still haven’t gotten very far in solving this problem. Why? Well, there are many answers to that question from different angles.
However, perhaps one of the most important things to understand is why the divide exists between white and black students but not between Asian and black students? It may sound strange at first, but some research suggests that the reason has to do with how differently these two groups are treated. For example:
if you were an educational researcher who was interested in studying why Asians tend to outperform blacks in school, what would be your hypothesis? To help provide some insight into this tricky subject, we’ve put together this article on why there’s an educational gap between white and black students but not between Asian and black students.
What is the Achievement Gap?
In educational circles, you often hear people talking about the “achievement gap” between various groups of students. This term refers to the difference in academic performance between different groups of students. The most common groupings include black students, white students, and Asian students. Academic disparity is a serious issue because it can affect the future of students’ lives.
If students are behind in school, it’s more likely that they’ll remain behind in school. It can be harder for them to find a job, which can lead to a lifetime of poverty. If we want to close the gap between black and white students, we need to understand why it exists.
What Is Behind the Gap?
The gap between white and black students is partially due to cultural factors. While students may be more likely to be encouraged to explore different areas of interest, be given more opportunities to explore those interests, and have access to more resources that allow exploration.
Black students, meanwhile, may be expected to follow a more traditional career path. This difference in expectations, along with other cultural factors like a difference in access to high-quality education, can contribute to the gulf between white and black students. For Asian and black students, the problem may be due to the fact that they are both minorities in the US.
This means that they may face more institutional racism and a lack of support from the government. These factors can also help to explain why the socioeconomic achievement gap exists between white and black students but not between Asian and black students.
Why Does the Gap Exist Between White and Black Students But Not Between Asian and White Students?
The main reason for the difference between white and black students and Asian and black students is the difference in the way they are treated. Asian students, though often marginalized themselves, are rarely treated as poorly as black students.
This is because Asian students are often seen as the “model minority”. This term was coined in the 1960s and refers to Asian people being treated as the gold standard of what other minority groups should strive to be like. For example,
Asian students are often treated as hardworking, high achieving, and compliant. White students, on the other hand, are often seen as naturally gifted and having more potential to succeed than Asian students.
Cultural Differences May Be at Play
It’s important to note that the cultural differences between Asian students and black students aren’t due to laziness or lack of intelligence. They are due to the different treatment that these students receive and the stereotypes behind those differences.
One difference may be in the way Asian students and black students are encouraged to explore different areas of interest. Asian students are encouraged to explore different areas of interest, whereas black students are often encouraged to focus on specific career paths. This difference in expectations can lead to a difference in potential for success.
Institutional Racism Might be a Cause
Another possible cause of the education achievement gap between Asian and black students and the gap between white and black students is institutional racism. This occurs when a group of people, like a school system or government, treats a particular group of people poorly because of their race.
This can lead to black students receiving fewer opportunities to explore different areas of interest and having access to fewer resources that allow exploration. This can result in less academic success for black students and a wider achievement gap between Asian and black students.
The Black Lives Matter movement has ignited conversations about institutional racism and its impact on the Black community. Institutional racism is a process that has lasting effects on minority populations. It’s not simply unfair treatment by individuals or frequent microaggressions.
Instead, it’s policies, practices, and norms that have a disparate negative impact on minority groups. Society has built structures that give advantages to white people and create disadvantages for minorities.
This is the result of centuries of policies and practices that have disadvantaged black people specifically. When these systems continue to perpetuate disadvantage instead of enabling access and opportunity, they are considered racist.
This article discusses the different forms of institutional racism as well as some examples from history you might not be aware of. Keep reading to understand how it affects the Black community today…
What Is Institutional Racism?
Institutional racism is the term used to describe the policies, procedures, and practices within institutions that work against people of color. The most common misconception about institutional racism is that it’s just prejudice plus power — i.e., racism is only racism if a white person is actively discriminating against a black person.
While prejudice plays a role in the development of institutional racism, discrimination within institutions like housing, education, and the criminal justice system is not the result of a few bad apples. Institutional racism is baked into the core of these institutions. It’s found in the ways the institutions are designed, in the assumptions that underlie those designs, and in the implementation of those designs.
There are two ways housing discrimination occurs: by law and by practice. The first is illegal — that is, when a landlord refuses to rent to someone based on their race. The second form is legal, but just as harmful: It happens when landlords use racial profiling to screen potential tenants.
Institutional racism in housing is seen in the patterns of where black people live in relation to white people. Historically, the government created housing policies that “redlined” black neighborhoods, making it nearly impossible for black people to get home loans. These policies led to the hyper segregation of black people in urban areas. Even today, the distribution of black residents continues to be unevenly distributed, despite black people moving out of urban areas and other races moving into them.
Racial discrimination in the hiring process and workplace culture is one of the most well-known examples of institutional racism. Studies have found that black applicants with no criminal history are less likely to be hired than white applicants with a criminal history. The most common way this happens is through subconscious bias — also known as implicit bias — that employers aren’t even aware they have. These hiring practices have a lasting impact on the racial makeup of industries. For example, the tech industry has been criticized for the lack of diversity in its workforce. In one study, researchers found that Asian people were actually experiencing discrimination at a higher rate than black people, despite the widespread discussion of the latter.
Schools have been known to discriminate based on race, class, and gender. They also have a history of putting black students in special education programs at a disproportionate rate. This is harmful for several reasons. Being in a program for students with disabilities can limit a student’s future career options. Plus, minority students are more likely to be labeled as “special needs” even if they aren’t. While some groups are more likely to be placed in special education, the fact that black kids are more likely to be put in these programs is indicative of institutional racism.
Police Discriminatory Practices
The relationship between police officers and black communities is complicated. While many law enforcement agencies do their best to protect and serve the black communities they are tasked with keeping safe, others have a documented history of racism. This is reflected in the overrepresentation of black people in statistics on police shootings and arrests. There’s been a long and ugly history of police officers targeting black people — and people of color in general — for racially biased reasons. Institutional racism isn’t just hateful individuals and isolated incidents. It’s a system that allows for years of oppression and prejudice to continue, even as the people involved deny that it exists.
Coaching Could Be one of the solutions to the Achievement Gap
Another way to close the achievement gap between Asian and black students is through coaching. It may sound strange, but coaching is actually a very common method of helping students succeed in school. Coaches can help students with everything from improving their study skills to building confidence for tests. In fact, the wide variety of services offered by coaches is sometimes referred to as the “coaching industry”. In some cases, coaches are employed by schools to help struggling students. Coaching can help close the achievement gap between Asian and black students by providing struggling students with the extra support they need to succeed.
The achievement gap between white and black students is partially due to cultural factors. While students may be more likely to be encouraged to explore different areas of interest, be given more opportunities to explore those interests, and have access to more resources that allow exploration. Black students, meanwhile, may be expected to follow a more traditional career path. This difference in expectations, along with other cultural factors like a difference in access to high-quality education, can contribute to the achievement gap between white and black students.
The key takeaway here is that when we talk about the achievement gap, we often only talk about the difference between black and white students. But the truth is that there’s also a gap between Asian and black students.
There are many possible causes of the gap between white and black students, but the main reason is the difference in the way they are treated. Asian students are often treated as the model minority and given more opportunities to explore different areas of interest. White students, on the other hand, are often given the benefit of the doubt and viewed as naturally gifted.
Institutional racism is harmful and prevalent in many areas of society. The Black Lives Matter movement is a response to individual acts of racism, but also to larger systems of racism that perpetuate inequality and injustice for many people of color. Understanding how these systems work is the first step toward making change.
The next time you hear someone say “all lives matter” in response to the black lives matter movement, you can explain how institutional racism is the real issue at hand. The goal of the black lives matter movement is not to downplay the importance of other lives — including w