The Income Achievement Gap

For my synthesis and analysis essay, I wrote on the topic of the income achievement gap. According to Vanessa Sacks, the income achievement gap is “the disparity in academic achievement between students from high-income families and their less-affluent peers” (Sacks, 2016). There are many reasons as to why students suffer from this gap. Some reasons that students suffer from the income achievement gap is due to student mobility, the lack of parent involvement and the lack of resources at home.

 Student mobility

According to Sparks, student mobility “can include any time a student changes schools for reasons other than grade promotion, but in general it refers to students changing schools during a school year” (Sparks, 2016). The leading causes for student mobility is due to financial instability and job insecurity within the family (Sparks, 2016). For every time a student moves schools, the student loses roughly three months of material (Sparks, 2016).

Parent involvement

Parent involvement is exactly what it sounds like. The Child Trends Data Bank states that “students with parents who are involved in their school tend to have fewer behavioral problems and better academic performance, and they are more lily to complete secondary school” (Barton, 2004). Parent involvement in low-income areas is not seen as much compared to wealthier areas. 27 percent of families who lived under the federal poverty level had a parent volunteer at school versus 47 percent of families above the federal poverty level (“Parental Involvement,” 2018).

Lack of resources at home

The lack of resources at home can be categorized as the lack of a household having access to a rich learning environment and nutritious food. These are both hard for low-income areas. A rich learning environment could include parents who encourage learning and engage with their children. It is easier for low-income parents to just sit their kid in front of a television or feed them technology 24/7 due to rigorous work schedules. Nutrition is important to a child’s development also. A lot of low-income families live in what is called a food desert. A food desert is when areas lack access to fresh produce and other goods, which leads to unhealthy diets.

Obviously, you don’t have to watch the whole Youtube video unless you have the time. The first few minutes explains what a food desert is. I found the video interesting because it focuses on food deserts in Virginia. 



Reference List

Barton, P. “Why Does the Gap Persist?” Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.2004, November. Retrieved from¢.aspx

Child Trends. “Parental Involvement in Schools.” Child Trends. 2018, September 16. Retrieved from

Sacks, V. “The other achievement gap: Poverty and academic success.” Child Trends. 2016, August 22. Retrieved from

Sparks, S. “Student Mobility: How It Affects Learning.” Education Week. 2016, August 11. Retrieved from


The Rise in the Income Achievement Gap: Sean Reardon by Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

Living In a Food Desert Documentary by VSUOfficialChannel




Yorktown to RVA


Am I Blue?


  1. Your research was both interesting and relevant. This is something that I have always wondered about but never actually looked into. I think it is unfair that rich kids always seem to get into better schools while other kids, who are just as smart, cannot afford to go there even though they are qualified. Your project answered a lot of questions for me!

  2. It was interesting to see how student mobility can influence the life of a student and how much time of material he loses in school. Furthermore, I didn’t know about the “food desert”, so I liked that you explained what it is and how it influences students.

  3. I enjoyed how you neatly broke up each section of your paper in order to explain everything in a brief article. I also like the placement of your videos and the information they contain.

  4. The Food Desert video link did not work when I tried it.

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