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The achievement gap is a widely known issue that has impacted U.S. schools for years. Socio-economically disadvantaged students of color are the demographic that disproportionately faces roadblocks to succeeding academically. It is understood that, “compared to more privileged students, underrepresented students experience disparities in social capital and social support that contribute to academic achievement gaps” (Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology).  “School failure penalises a child for life. The student who leaves school without completing upper secondary education or without the relevant skills has fewer life prospects” (OECD). 

“Intervention has been suggested as a deterrent to this gap and many educators have implemented various models and yet, the achievement gap prevails as socio-economic disadvantaged students continue to fall further behind in developing the foundational knowledge and skills needed to achieve upper level course work” (CSU San Marcos). Case studies analyzing 2+ month intervention for socio-economic disadvantaged students revealed the intervention was successful. Results indicated increases in help-seeking and network orientation as well as improvements in GPA and student-instructor relationships. “The evidence shows that equity can go hand-in-hand with quality; and that reducing school failure strengthens individuals’ and societies’ capacities to respond to recession and contribute to economic growth and social wellbeing. This means that investing in high quality schooling and equal opportunities for all from the early years to at least the end of upper secondary is the most profitable educational policy. Students who have enriching school experiences will be more likely to stay in education and successfully transfer to the labour market. Those who struggle at early stages but receive adequate, timely support and guidance have higher probabilities of finishing, despite any difficulties in their family or social background” (OECD).

The conclusion in research like this is that closing the achievement gap for low socio-economic status students will not be easy, but with proper intervention practices, educators have an opportunity to provide instruction that is catered to the needs of this student population. “Findings suggest a relatively low-cost intervention can have meaningful impacts . . . and help close achievement gaps” (Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology). Analysis has shown that there is a high potential that tutoring will help narrow the BIPOC achievement gap by positively creating “that sense of belonging that comes through having a through-out support and a reliable point of contact and space where students feel empowered” (Herts).

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