Education is often considered as the silver bullet to solving the world’s problems. You do not have to take it from me. That is the same rhetoric great Americans like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin spoke to. Honestly, the list of great individuals who support and advocate for education goes on and on, but I will be highlighting one key individual, Bill Gates. Bill Gates has famously said that if we made the all the teachers as good as the best teachers then the problem with education would be greatly alleviated.
So what is the problem with education? What is the achievement gap? The achievement gap can take on several different forms. For example, there is the social-economic gap, and then there is the racial achievement gap. Each describes the negative discrepancy between a group of students and the rest of the students who are achieving according to the standards and timeline outlined by educators. In other words, the achievement gaps describes the phenomenon where students fail to learn and achieve the necessary fundamentals taught in school, and as they get older, they get further and further behind. There is a gap created between what the students know and what the students should know. The achievement gap has a variety of negative outcomes, and is most prevalent in inner-city schools like in Houston. The negative outcomes include higher drop-out rates, more likely to become drug users, more likely to commit crimes, and more like to experience personal troubles in the home.
That was a long list, but there is another way of looking at these problems. Let us look at locally. Here in Houston, do you believe that every child should have the opportunity to have academic, personal, and professional success? I think everyone in Houston would agree that they do, but let us say that the moral imperative is not enough. Then there is also the economic impact that everyone should consider. According to a study published by Mckinsey & Society the U.S has lost somewhere between 1.3 and 2.3 trillion dollars since 2008 due to the achievement gap, and this study was published in 2009. Imagine the economic loss since then. If the moral imperative is not enough, then the economic one is sure to do the trick, because even here in Houston we can feel the impact of the recession.
The solution to the achievement gap is relatively simple, but the problem is implementation. Bill Gates has suggested, among other things, to implement a teacher peer-review system that allows teachers to take advantage of constructive criticism as they try to implement best practices. Second, technology can play a huge role in closing the achievement gap. The last point that I wanted to make was to support private tutoring. Not everyone can afford private tutoring, but private tutoring can get at one of the key causes of the achievement gap. The key cause is the lack of attention given to students. Attention to students is needed to facilitate a positive learning environment for the student. That is why private tutoring can aid to bridge the gap by providing the student with one-on-one attention that has been proven to effectively promote learning.
Kn.I.L.E Center is the premier tutoring center in Houston, providing excellent tutoring, private schooling, and other educational programs. For more information visit http://knilecenter.com, or call 281-682-4573.
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