Term “Achievement Gap” Fosters Negative View of Black Students

 long-standing efforts to close the racial "achievement gap" in education
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Despite long-standing efforts to close the racial "achievement gap" in education, the term does more to trigger racist stereotypes and causes a lower sense of urgency than when the issue is presented as the need to "end inequality in educational outcomes."

Those are the key findings of a new study in which we examined the effect that the two different terms had on teachers and others.

To reach this conclusion, we conducted two different survey experiments—one with teachers and one with nonteachers.

In the experiments, we randomly asked respondents to answer one of two versions of a question on a survey. Some were asked how important it was to "close the achievement gap" between Black and white students. Others were asked how important it was to "end inequality in educational outcomes between Black and white students."

As we'd guessed, respondents gave lower priority to racial equity when the issue was presented as a matter of closing an "achievement gap." This was true for both teachers and nonteachers. Specifically, when asked about ending inequality in educational outcomes, 57% of nonteachers and 78% of teachers said it was a "high priority" or "essential." But when asked about "closing racial achievement gaps," only 44% of nonteachers and 70% of teachers rated it as a "high priority" or "essential."

Furthermore, the term "achievement gap" had a larger negative effect among teachers who hold stronger anti-Black or pro-white implicit stereotypes...
Read more: https://phys.org/news/2022-10-term-gap-fosters-negative-view.html

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