Advantaged = a favorable position; a beneficial factor or combination of factors; promotes a favorable result; what enhances well-being, improves chances of success
Disadvantaged = deprived of some necessities or advantages of life; an unfavorable condition; a detriment, drawback, handicap
Two of the biggest and most perilous gaps today in America, and the most exasperating for me, are the Have and Have-Not Gap in our economy and the Achievement Gap in education. These two gaps exist because of The Advantaged and Disadvantaged Gap.
Two excellent reviews of the advantaged and disadvantage gap are found in a current movie, “Inequality for All” featuring Robert Reich and a recent book, “The Reign of Error” by Diane Ravitch.
The movie makes it clear that inequality in America is increasing by leaps and bounds. The “haves” are the ones who have the advantage and the advantage is increasing. The “have-nots” have the disadvantage and the disadvantage is increasing.
The book makes it clear those students from advantaged families are higher achievers than students from disadvantaged families. These achievement gaps are opportunity gaps and begin before the first day of school.
The solution seems to be obvious: Reduce the gap between the advantaged and the disadvantaged. Diane Ravitch says it this way: “We know what works. What works are the very opportunities that advantaged families provide for their children. As a society we must do whatever is necessary to extend the same advantages to children who do not have them.”
However, for a society to do whatever is necessary may require local, state and/or national government to provide greater assistance to the disadvantaged in order to reduce the inequality of opportunity. I don’t believe such government intervention is very likely, given the condition of our questionable “democratic political system” today.