A Path for All: Closing the Racial Achievement Gap

Many Americans identify education as a path toward success.  The racial achievement gap in American schools, however, stands in the way of a significant number of minority children’s realization of a successful future.  The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book extrapolates a change in the racial demographics of children over the next 15 years – as the percentages of minority groups increase, the foundation foresees the number of white children decreasing.  Therefore, addressing the racial achievement gap will become increasingly more necessary as time progresses.

For that reason, The Annie E. Casey Foundation compiles the Race for Results Index, which collects a range of data for various groups of people of color.  The results from the Index shows some of the barriers facing minority children are under-resourced and unsafe schools, as well as poverty-stricken and violent communities.

The PBS documentary “180 Days” further demonstrates the impact of a student’s circumstances on the student’s achievement. Through a series of episodes following students and families of an inner-city high school, the documentary examines the specific struggles that arise when school and community resources are few.

Patrice Garnette, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, The George Washington University Law School

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