I have been doing a lot of research on bridging the achievement gap. One study I read asked students why the thought there was an achievement gap. Things the kids themselves listed included: Low expectations of adults, dumbed- down curriculum, teachers not knowing what the material they were teaching or not caring, giving C work an A or B, no opportunities when they got out of high school, etc.. I found it very interesting...You might look into some of this. Also, I have been doing a lot of research and put into place strategies for students who have difficulty working in the art room environment.
It is a lot to place on ourselves...we can be "bird courses" ('cause you just fly right through!) or we can use the arts to help all students realize their potential. To do that...we have to work harder!!! Sad but true!!!