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The Achievement Gap a College Issue

Education in the modern world is plagued with many different problems that cause some

students to fail compared to others and this is called the achievement gap.The achievement gap

is the observed disparity in education between different groups of students.I believe that the

achievement gap between students is caused by geographical location, the needs of the people

in the region and, the funding available in their area. The achievement gap is a problem in

education because it leads to the unfair advantage of the people who have all the cards in their

hand compared to the people who have all the odds against them. The achievement gap is an

issue that plagues all levels of education from kindergarten all the way up through college and


The problem with education today is that if you are fortunate enough to live in a wealthy

area like a city you are more likely to do well compared to a student attends a school in a rural

Figure 1: The difference between SAT scores based on region.

area. The image below shows the the difference in SAT scores across the state of North

Carolina and how each county compares to one another. The image shows the difference in

achievement between the regions and the amount of wealth that is accumulated there
throughout the state of North Carolina on a test that is the same for each person that takes it.

The SAT is a standardized test that is supposed to test the general knowledge gained in high

school and is used as a measurement for many colleges to admit students. The difference in

average scores proves that the quality of education is related to the amount of funding that a

school get which is also related to the region where you attend school as well.

The article Success in Community College: Do Institutions Differ? stated that community

colleges across the state of North Carolina are rated based on several different criteria like

degree attainment, transfer credits attained and, job training completed. The lower a school is

rated the less funding it will get causing the school to want to increase their rating but this can

be difficult do to many different factors. The three main factors as to why some schools get

rated lower than others is the fact that schools in rural areas focus on job training , people have

families and jobs and , students transfer from their community college and do not finish their

degree there so graduation rates are low. The rural parts of the state tend to focus on getting

people ready for the job market so that they can go out and try to make a hard earned living if

they can not afford to go to college straight out of high school. People that are going to a local

community college are probably doing it because they have other responsibilities like families

and jobs that they can not leave the area to go to a large four year school. The last and biggest

problem that causes most community colleges to get rated low is the fact that as students get

credits that will transfer to a four year school they transfer to the university and do not finish their

degree resulting in low graduation rates.

The funding issue that plagues schools is another huge problem in the education system

because the students that go to a school with less funding will not get the same quality of

education as someone who attends a school with more funding. Education in the modern world

is moving ever forward in the technological age where students are expected to use the
technology that the teacher assigns but they may not have access to the technology to do the

work resulting in grades that are not what they could be or reflect your true intelligence. The

funding issue also plagues large institutions and community colleges as well. Chertoff states

that If you add up the value of the direct and indirect help it receives, Princeton gets about

$54,000 a year per student in government subsidies. The College of New Jersey receives a

total of about $1,600. this quote shows the funding disparity between four year university and

community colleges. The quote shows the disparity between the two and how it affects the

ability for the students to achieve success in the modern age of school when the institution that

they attend does not have the funding to provide adequate education compared to one that has

an extravagant amount of funding per student.

The achievement gap is a problem in the modern world that needs to be solved so that

all students can have a level playing field to achieve success in education. The way to solve the

problem of the achievement gap is to find a way to even out the amount of funding that a district

gets so that all students receive the same quality of education no matter where they live or their

background. These reasons are why there is such a disparity between people and their access

to a decent education and it should not be that way where you live and how much money is

available to you should not limit your ability to achieve success just like somebody else who has

better circumstances.
"SAT scores track income in North Carolina." SAT scores track income in North Carolina | UNC
Charlotte Urban Institute. University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 19 June 2014. Web. 17 Apr.

Clotfelter, Charles T., Helen F. Ladd, Clara G. Muschkin, and Jacob L. Vigdor. "Success in
Community College: Do Institutions Differ?" Research in Higher Education 54, no. 7 (2013):

Chertoff, Emily. "How America's 2-Tiered Education System Is Perpetuating Inequality." The
Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 25 May 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.