Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Susan Semel

Subject Categories

Education Policy


Academic Achievement; Achievement Gap


The achievement gap has been a major issue plaguing the education system in the United States for decades. There has been much research conducted with the goal of identifying the reasons for the achievement gap. One of the main reasons for the achievement gap is poverty. In fact, I argue that there is a direct correlation between academic achievement and poverty, in other words school and society are inextricably connected. The focus of this paper will be the elementary school level as there is an abundance of information on elementary schools in New York City. To further demonstrate the fact that there is a link between poverty and the achievement gap, I will discuss two areas of Brooklyn, Brownsville and Park Slope. For both areas I will provide historical overview of the growth and development as it has a lot to do with the current socioeconomic status of the areas and how education developed in the parallel to the ways that the economy did in both areas.