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Over $2.3 Trillion Being Lost Due to Racial Achievement Gap Says New Study

By: Serena Crawford

With minority numbers growing in the U.S. it is easy to see why a new poll is stating that the racial achievement gap is costs the economy trillions of dollars. When these minorities graduate from school they could be out in the economy starting businesses and helping the country to thrive but instead many are not given the same education and opportunities in schools as non-minorities. Down the line this could cost the country a large amount of money.

The Center of American Progress analyzed data and put together the results for this study. They took data from an exam that was taken by students in 65 different countries called the Program for International Student Assessment. The results from this study showed that the minorities could have a major impact on the economy if the gap were reduced or closed. Black students that took the exam scored an average of 421 points on the math section of the assessment, Hispanic students averaged 455, and white students averaged 506. Patrick Oakford and Robert Lynch who were the authors of the study stated that $2.3 trillion in economic growth could be seen by 2050 if this gap were closed.

How did they get to this number? They used a model that was developed by Ludger Woessmann and Eric Hanushek which takes the assessment scores and equates them to income amounts later in life. Using the model the authors found that over 40 years if the gap were closed the amount of money coming in from the economy could go up 5.8%.

Unfortunately the racial achievement gap is something that desperately needs to be worked on and could take a long time to close. The Obama Administration is taking a step in closing the gap by releasing new guidelines that the schools must spread the high-quality teachers evenly between high-income and low-income schools so that every child, no matter their race or socioeconomic standing, could have a fair chance at getting the education that they deserve. Minorities are often left with under-qualified teachers when they are in lower-income sections of the city. This takes away from their overall education and has an effect on their contribution to the economy later in life.

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