The Achievement Gap and Meaningful Student Involvement

2013SuccessthruMSIThe phrase achievement gap refers to the different rates that different groups of students perform in schools. Meaningful Student Involvement encourages students to understand what it is, how is works and doesn’t work, and why it matters to them specifically.

What It Is

These groups can include racial, socio-economic, gender, religious and other differences. The achievement gap becomes obvious through measures like test scores, grades, class assignments, dropouts and access to higher education, along with other things.

Student voice is an important factor in the achievement gap. Among high performing students, stories abound about students being heard more often in classes. Low performing students notoriously have their voices repressed in class and throughout school reform efforts.

Where Meaningful Student Involvement Fits

Meaningful Student Involvement seeks to fix this by putting students in positions of authority not only in spite of their academic achievement or lack thereof, but because of their different achievement rates. Rather than silencing student voice, Meaningful Student Involvement can amplify the voices of the silenced; more so, this approach can engage these students as partners with the very teachers who used to fail them.

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Published by Adam Fletcher

Adam is the founding director of SoundOut. An author, speaker and consultant, he has worked with K-12 schools, districts, nonprofits and others for more than 15 years. Learn more about him at http://soundout.org/Adam

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