Understanding the Achievment Gap
This disparity leaves the lower-income students with the odds against them.
Teach For America official Kwame Griffith came to tell MU students there is a problem they can help solve.
"Many kids growing up in low-income communities, they're struggling with books like "Go-Dog-Go," or "See Spot Run," and it has nothing to do with the ability level," said Griffith. "It has more to do with the opportunity that they haven't been given educationally."
Teach For America provides lower-income area schools with teachers from different backgrounds of study.
Many of those teachers come fresh out of schools like MU.
"We believe that we can solve this problem, and what it's gonna take is the future leaders of our country to take two years and to go into either urban or rural low-income public schools," said Griffith.
Beyond Teach For America, Columbia residents are doing their part to help out the community by offering after-school programs.
"Academic education and character education, both of which we do, really don't matter a lot without confidence that you can succeed," said Dana Battison of The Intersection.
Intersection runs after school programs.
"It's really important for students to get a face of what this achievement gap actually is, and not just see it as a bunch of statistics or numbers," Griffith said.
Teach For America is not just for education majors. The program prefers to take graduating students from other disciplines and train them to work in the classroom.