To the Editor:
I find Education Week’s article “Poverty, Not Race, Fuels the Achievement Gap” (Oct. 1, 2019) very troubling.
The article reports the results of a research study that suggest the “racial achievement gap” is more aptly understood as a “poverty gap.” Yet, the first sentence of the second paragraph reads, “Racial segregation tends to concentrate Black and Hispanic children in schools where most of the students come from poor families because of the persistent connection between race and income in the United States.” Doesn’t that make the gap all about race?
Additionally, I believe a more appropriate way to frame the gap might be as an opportunity and access gap rather than an achievement gap, as it is not really an issue of the students themselves but how we are serving them.
Finally, while I have not read this research study, the book Courageous Conversations About Race suggests that, at least on measures such as the SAT, although scores increase for students as income increases, the gap between Black students and their White counterparts persists regardless of income.
A version of this article appeared in the October 30, 2019 edition of Education Week as The Racial Equity Gap