Addressing the achievement gap for African American, Latino and Native American adolescents : implications and approaches for white school counselors




Wells, Kristina Elfriede

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The achievement gap is still an epidemic in America and many schools struggle with identifying the reasons that their students of color are not achieving at the same rates as their White peers. This review of the literature uncovers some of these reasons and gives counselors ideas for how they can help these students achieve appropriately. Throughout the literature the disproportionate ratio between the overwhelming majority of White school counselors and educators and the growing number of students of color is clear, meaning that Whites in educator roles are over-represented compared to the demographics of the student body. Also, it is evident that the education that counselors have received in the past, and are still receiving, has been lacking in multicultural competency standards. These are just a few of the reasons for the emotional disconnect that students of color feel with the education system and counselors in particular, which makes the job of the counselor difficult when trying to help all children be successful, as is mandated by the American School Counselor Association and NCLB. The literature suggests that White school counselors can become multiculturally competent and can improve school climates to embrace diverse cultures, which in turn increases the chances of student success. Counselors are important change agents in schools and can help to close the achievement gap.



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