A Student’s Perspective on the Achievement Gap

My first post that’s not a comic. After I read this letter written by one of the students at my school, I knew I had to put it on the blog. Read the actual letter below and get one student’s honest perspective on why some schools are outperforming others. Fascinating…

(Don’t worry comic fans, I’m posting my next funny soon 😉


“I’ve concluded that a very extensive portion of the reason kids fall behind in school is not due to the school but rather their life at home. I went from a highly regarded “prestigious” school (Boston Latin School) to a school like East Boston High School where the graduation rate is at around 50%. I’ve seen little to no difference between schools in terms of the academic curriculum or the way in which kids are taught or even what the kids are taught them. The main difference I’ve noticed were the student’s attitudes towards learning. It was obvious many of these kids were extremely insecure and showcased little to no genuine confidence, thus leading to not even trying in school or failing or not trying purposely because it is what’s “cool” desperately pleading for some approval from fellow peers to feed their starving egos. A lot of their deep rooted insecurities come from the lack of support at home, whether that be due to lack of unity at home or a cultural difference, whatever it may be. The schools do the most they possibly can serving many many purposes, and although schools can offer the support family can’t it cannot make up for years of having nobody tell them they “believe” in them or nobody pushing them to exceed their limits and strive to be the best they can possibly be. Like most things, this would be a developmental issues rather than a school based issue. At my old school every kid was extremely confident, not afraid to showcase their knowledge and take advantage of opportunities. But if you were to ask them they would tell you their parents help them with homework and with their projects and their parents are the ones who believe in them and push them forward to try new things. Seeing as though the kids are ready to take on more work they are given more work whereas the kids here have a bad attitude (based on their insecurities) and are discouraged and led on to believe that they are not competent enough to go to school and be “smart” so they drop out and subject themselves to low-pay manual labor type jobs. If you were to fix this problem you’d have to start at home, if anything.


A. R.           Freshman Academy”

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