Why The Academic Achievement Gap Is A Racist Idea


The best piece going around lately on race and the “achievement gap”.

In it, Ibram X. Kendi talks about what so many of us have been fighting for: “What if our educational system focused on opening minds instead of filling minds and testing how full they are? What if we realized the best way to standardize a highly effective educational system is not by standardizing our tests but by standardizing our schools to encourage intellectual openness and difference?

But intellectual difference, and multiple literacies, languages, and vocabularies, are only valued in a multi-cultural society that truly values diversity and difference. The testing movement does not value multiculturalism. The testing movement does not value the antiracist equality of difference. The testing movement values the racist hierarchy of difference, and its bastard 100-year-old child: the academic achievement gap.”

Remember- this is more than just about testing, but about the narrowing of how we see the goals of our educational system. This kind of thinking elevates our public school system from the “college and career ready” vocational centers they’re becoming. (And look, I agree that vocational learning is important. But this increasing call for vocational instruction from the anti-reform group needs to stop- you’re playing right into the hands of corporate reform by suggesting that schools are places where students are being trained for future employment. Let’s make schools places where we build and encourage young minds to learn and ask questions about the world.)

Read “Why the Academic Achievement Gap Is A Racist Idea” here.