The midterm elections are likely to be historic for a number of reasons, but some candidates have the potential to become momentous firsts for the country. At the polls on Tuesday, voters across the United States will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for women and minorities poised to make history. Here are the candidates who could win barrier-breaking races this Election Day.
Reading- ages 9 light gray13 dark grayand 17 black. Debate on the origins of the racial achievement gap[ edit ] Researchers have not reached consensus about the causes of the academic achievement gap ; instead, there exists a wide range of studies that cite an array of factors, both cultural and structural, that influence student performance in school.
Annette Lareau suggested that students who lack middle-class cultural capital and have limited parental involvement are likely to have lower academic achievement than their better resourced peers. Researchers concerned with the achievement gap between genders cite biological differences, such as brain structure and development, as a possible reason why one gender outperforms the other in certain subjects.
For example, a Virginia Tech Study conducted in examined the brains of children and found that different areas of the brain develop in a different sequence in girls compared to boys.
Other researchers have argued that there is no significant difference in inherent cognitive ability between different races that could help to explain the achievement gap, and that environment is at the root of the issue.
While results differ depending on the instrument, estimates of the black-white gap range from slightly less than half a standard deviation to slightly more than 1 standard deviation. Children who score poorly on tests of cognitive skills before starting kindergarten are highly likely to be low performers throughout their school careers.
African American culture and family structure[ edit ] Further information: African American culture and African-American family structure The culture and environment in which children are raised may play a role in the achievement gap.
Jencks and Phillips argue that African American parents may not encourage early education in toddlers because they do not see the personal benefits of having exceptional academic skills. As a result of cultural differences, African American students tend to begin school with smaller vocabularies than their white classmates.
The differences are qualitative as well as quantitative, with differences in "unique" words, complexity, and "conversational turns. As a result, these children enter school with decreased word knowledge that can affect their language skills, influence their experience with books, and create different perceptions and expectations in the classroom context.
Students from single-parent homes often find it difficult to find time to receive help from their parent. Similarly, some Hispanic students have difficulty getting help with their homework because there is not an English speaker at home to offer assistance. Poverty, coupled with the environment they are raised in, can lead to shortcomings in educational achievement.
Despite strong standards and beliefs in education, Hispanic children consistently perform poorly, reflected by a low average of math and reading scores, as compared to other groups except African American.
The majority of Hispanic children are affected by immigration. It affects recent immigrants as well as the children of immigrants. A study explored the unique situation and stressors recent Latin American immigrants face.
Hispanic students showed lower academic achievement, more absences, and more life stressors than their counterparts. This can be problematic because children may not have parents who speak English at home to help with language acquisition.
Immigration struggles can be used as a motivator for students. They immigrated and sacrificed their lives so their children can succeed, and this framework is salient in encouraging children to pursue their education. Parents use their struggles and occupation to encourage a better life.
For example, parental involvement in elementary school has been shown to lower high school dropout rates and improved on time completion of high school. Many argue that standardized IQ tests and other testing procedures are culturally biased toward the knowledge and experiences of the European-American middle class.
According to this theory, this produces test anxiety and keeps them from doing as well as they could on tests. According to Steele, minority test takers experience anxiety, believing that if they do poorly on their test they will confirm the stereotypes about inferior intellectual performance of their minority group.
As a result, a self-fulfilling prophecy begins, and the child performs at a level beneath his or her inherent abilities. As some researchers point out, minority students may feel little motivation to do well in school because they do not believe it will pay off in the form of a better job or upward social mobility.
Structural and institutional factors[ edit ] Different schools have different effects on similar students. Children of color tend to be concentrated in low-achieving, highly segregated schools.
In general, minority students are more likely to come from low-income households, meaning minority students are more likely to attend poorly funded schools based on the districting patterns within the school system. Schools in lower-income districts tend to employ less qualified teachers and have fewer educational resources.
Good teachers can actually close or eliminate the gaps in achievement on the standardized tests that separate white and minority students.
However, as a result of schools placing emphasis on socioeconomic status and cultural capital, minority students are vastly over-represented in lower educational tracks.
Such expectations of a race within school systems are a form of institutional racism. Some researchers compare the tracking system to a modern form of racial segregation within the schools. One study found that although black children are more likely to attend preschool than white children, they may experience lower-quality care.
Another study conducted in Illinois in  found that only one in three Latino parents could find a preschool slot for his or her child, compared to almost two thirds of other families.
In addition to the potential increase in GDP, the report projects that closing the achievement gap would lead to cost savings in areas outside of education, such as incarceration and healthcare.Racism against African-Americans: many of the Africans brought to America starting in the 17th century arrived as slaves, kidnapped from their homelands in various parts of Africa.
A number of them were known to be royalty and literate. Jun 13, · Takaki's survey of the war's impact on Americans of African, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Jewish, Korean, Indian, German, Italian and Native origin reaches two conclusions.
The first is that the battle against Nazi racism exposed America's own prejudices as peacetime never could. During the war, which the United States had entered in December , a large proportion of African American soldiers overseas were in service units, and combat troops remained segregated.
You can read more of this story here. The achievement gap in the United States is the observed, persistent disparity in measures of educational performance among subgroups of U.S. students, especially groups defined by socioeconomic status (SES), race/ethnicity and gender. Facts relating to the American Civil War.
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Andrew Gillum: Gillum could become the first African-American governor in Florida's history. He is the Democratic nominee and mayor of Tallahassee.