The achievement gap is a concept that has been prevalent in educational discourse in the United States since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, though the concept has its beginnings in the post–Civil War era, the Great Migration, and the growth in immigration in the early 20th century. The term refers to a difference between the academic achievement of linguistic and ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds, and female students, and either the mainstream student population in general or the white student population more specifically.

The achievement gap concept has gained popularity and attention in recent decades in education, particularly because of the increase in focus on standardized testing. The notion of the achievement gap has now expanded beyond ...

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