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...