Kenosha News: When Alvin Owens talks about the Spring Break College Tour, which takes mostly African-American Kenosha students on a whirlwind tour of colleges in the South and East Coast, he also isn’t afraid to talk about the elephant in the room: the achievement gap.
It refers to the academic gap that exists in the Kenosha Unified School District between black students and their white counterparts. It is considerable — Owens calls it the biggest in the country — and it bothers him.
“Our academic achievement gap is getting bigger. That is something we cannot accept or tolerate,” he said. “It’s up to us to close the gap.”
When he says “us,” he’s referring to parents and the larger community.
At a recent meeting with parents about the upcoming tour, he and Gary Vargas, student liaison at Bradford High School and an adviser to the African American Male Initiative, goaded parents to stay on top of their children’s academics, telling them they need to be checking school websites, perusing online grades and meeting with guidance counselors and teachers to learn of opportunities for their children.