Dr. Camika Royal explains here that the term “achievement gap” is offensive. She says that the comparison between whites and African Americans is inherently demeaning to the latter and ignores the reasons for what it claims to address.
Use the term “opportunity gap” or “wealth gap.” But, please, she says, stop using the term “achievement gap.”
My thoughts, Dr. Royal: This phrase (“the achievement gap”) is used cynically by self-proclaimed “reformers” who have no genuine interest in closing the opportunity gap or the wealth gap. In fact, if you mention the causes of test score differences, they will accuse you of making excuses. They don’t want to talk about poverty or segregation. They don’t want to hear anything about causes, only about test scores gaps. They will point to schools that get high test scores by operating as boot camps. They say that black children need a “different” kind of education, an education where they are taught to obey, to conform, to listen in silence, and to do as they are told without question.
They think that days on end of test prep is the right kind of education for black children, but not for their own.
Until the Wall Street guys, the high-tech titans, and the foundation moguls demand that poor children get the same quality of education that they want for their own children, with experienced teachers, small classes, excellent facilities, ample resources, and a rich curriculum, I can’t take seriously their talk about “closing the gap,” no matter which adjective it takes.