Essay II: McKinsey Casual Essay
WRC 1023.002; Freshman Composition II
Professor Ellen Walroth
February 23, 2010
Back in April of 2009, McKinsey & Co. published their research findings on the four types of achievement gaps in the United States: International, Racial, School System and Income. Within the following paper I will argue, based on the facts presented by McKinsey, for their findings. One of the most complex aspects of the achievement gap, one that, by and large, is out of control is the income gap. The Income Achievement Gap is defined by the disparity in academic performance between groups of students coming from families with differing income levels. As shown in the McKinsey report, an impoverished student is roughly two to two-and-a-half years of learning behind the average better-off student in the same age bracket. While there is no clear-cut cause of the achievement gap in America that we can pinpoint, there are multiple problems that are highlighted in the report by McKinsey.
The Income Achievement Gap
McKinsey's report addresses the growing problems of the achievement gap in American school systems, and one distinct gap is between students of differing income levels. Where would America be today had the achievement gap been closed in on twelve years ago? As per the McKinsey report, "If America had closed the international achievement gap between 1983 and 1998 and had raised its performance to the level of such nations as Finland and South Korea, United States G.D.P. in 2008 would have been between $1.3 trillion and $2.3 trillion higher. If we had closed the racial achievement gap and black and Latino student performance had caught up with that of white students by 1998, G.D.P. in 2008 would have been between $310 billion and $525 billion higher. If the gap between low-income students and the rest had been narrowed, G.D.P. in 2008 would have been $400 billion to $670 billion higher." That's quite a bit of money that could have potentially been put back into our school systems to continue to close the achievement gap, even if a fraction of that money went back into the system I could argue our students would be better off today. The better the education the children are receiving, one can infer the more likely they are to go on to successful professional lives and help spur the economy, instead of potentially leading to the cycle of low income breading poor students, and high income breading model students. Given that statement one can easily infer that the difference in performance of the lower-income students to that of their higher-income counterparts has not only a negative impact on the individuals, but also our nation's economy as a whole. The research has shown that there are a number of factors...