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American Culture and Closing The Achievement GAP!

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American Culture and the Achievement Gap What is an “achievement gap?” The achievement gap on which this article focuses is the academic achievement gap between African-American and Caucasian students in American schools. It seems that even when the parents of African-American children have university degrees, their children still have lower test scores than the children of Caucasian parents with college degrees. This holds true at all levels of parental education. Why? While there are a myriad of reasons for the academic achievement gap between races, including institutionalized racism, low teacher expectations, poor schools, limited experiential backgrounds, etc., this article focuses on American culture and the “dumbing” of America as one often overlooked reason. There is an overall American attitude that stupidity is “cute,” “cool,” and trendy. Witness the appalling lack of knowledge on the part of Paris Hilton during a court proceeding, in which she was asked a question about “Great Britain” and obviously did not know that England is part of Great Britain. (It had to be explained to her, after which, she pouted and rolled her eyes.) When a rich, pampered, role model socialite from one of the wealthiest families in America exhibits such ignorance, after a presumably excellent education in private schools, is it any wonder that other young people don’t worry about getting a good education and using it? They look at what she has and how stupid she acts and think they don’t need “smarts” to become rich and successful!

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