Every summer for the past eight years I have scored the Advanced Placement American Government & Politics exam. It's a rigorous endeavor but not one that I would soon give up. You learn a lot about the state of American education from the perspectives of both high school and higher education. This comes from 7-10 days of socialization with nearly 600 educators at both levels. While I was there, I had a series of discussions with a teacher at a charter school in Los Angeles. We talked extensively about the black-white/Asian achievement gap. No matter how it is measured - tests, GPA, college acceptance, high school matriculation, university matriculation, career earnings - there is a significant gap. Why? How?
While not a definitive answer, much of our discussions focused on low expectations in the black community and in that regard we discussed the following column by Leonard Pitts on the low expectations we tend to have for African American youth.
I've long advocated for anything that can get more parental involvement and high expectations start at the home. It's one thing for parents not to help their kids with their homework. It's another thing much worse to not expect more of your kids. Parents can't blame society for having low expectations. Turning around the achievement gap only begins when individual parents expect their kids to be high achievers.
What do you think?