Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Olmanson, J., Falls, Z., & Rouamba, G. (2017). Historical Analysis: Tracking, Problematizing, and Reterritorializing Achievement and the Achievement Gap. In African American Children in Early Childhood Education (Vol. 5, pp. 57–84). Emerald Publishing Limited.


Copyright © 2017 by Emerald Publishing Limited. Used by permission.


For more than a century, state and federal governments and organizations have used different measures to determine if students and groups of students have achieved in a particular subject or grade level. While the construct of achievement is applied irrespective of student differences, this equal application turns out to be anything but equitable. In this chapter, we work to understand the way achievement plays out for Black students by deconstructing how the word achievement works. In doing so, we track the history of education, testing, and curriculum as it has been applied to Black youth and youth of color.