Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Postcolonial “Pre-conditioning”: Understanding the Academic Achievement Gap between White and Minority Students in the USA
Erold K. Bailey

Much research has been conducted to study the academic achievement gap between white and minority students in the United States. And while some of the conversation imply, or inadvertently point to this colonial history, none has investigated the issues through postcolonial lens. The purpose of this study therefore, was to examine how slavery and colonialism produced conditions that result in the current achievement gap. Three questions guided this study: (1) What school-related disparities exist between white and minority students that may explain the academic achievement gap? (2) How might these school-related disparities function as contributory factors to the academic achievement gap? (3) How are these factors vestiges of slavery and colonialism? Extant data were used to examine school-related disparities (or “pre-conditional” factors) that impact student achievement and experience. The findings indicate that hegemonic practices and features of slavery and colonialism produce institutionalized and internalized consequences that continue to affect educational outcomes.

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