“We knew it was bad, but we didn’t know it was this bad.” - ACT

A measure of college readiness, ACT scores, shows just how much multiple doses of disadvantage can affect academic achievement. It really gets worse if a child comes from a poor household, if a child's parents did not go to college, and if a child comes from a minority group. A child who does not meet any of these conditions (54% college-ready) is six times more likely to be ready for college than a child who is poor, black, and whose parents did not go to college (9% college-ready). These results show that the major problem basic education in the United States faces is indeed inequity. The scores point to a serious and lingering problem in US schools: a well established disparity in quality and resources between schools that serve mostly poor and minority children and schools that do not.

Above copied from
The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2017

The situation is worse if one considers readiness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). A non-disadvantaged child is more than 15 times more likely to be prepared for STEM than a child who is poor, a minority, and first-generation:

Above copied from
The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2017

To appreciate this disparity, fifteen times more likely is the same difference between smokers and non-smokers when it comes to the likelihood of getting lung cancer.

Addressing the problem of inequity has only one solution: Remove the inequity. We can begin by expecting all students to reach a high level in academic achievement. This expectation, however, is meaningless, if we do not provide the support or resources needed.


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