Let me put it this way, again these are broad over generalizations which are not subjective across everyone by any means.
But typically, we find that children who are raised in steady homes, with both parents and an ability to be involved and extra curricular actives by an organized system with mentors throughout their adolescences, as well as the ability to received out-of-school tutoring if need be, are going to excel better then those without these benefits.
Meaning, if you took to identical twins, and raised one in a well to do family in a nice and safe neighborhood, and the other in a low income family in a poor and less safe neighborhood... you would statistically see one excel over the other.
This is do to a lot of reasons, but at the center of this is a means and access by the child in their ability to achieve.
Imagine one parent who is working multiple dead-end jobs in the city taking buses from each location because he/she cant afford a car, and trying to take care of a household in the little time he/she has less. This person has very little to no money to put on the table, so just trying to pay the rent and electric bill each month is enough and more than likely does not have the excess money for highspeed internet and a computer for their kids to use in house for home work. Do you think this person is even able (no matter how much they want to) to put their kids in afterschool activities? Or make the best school project with their kids when they aren't even home? They are barely home to begin with, so instead of having the money to afford after school care, or a nanny or sitter to properly supervise them (or even be home with them to begin with) they are in the position where they need to leave them alone sometimes or with other like children in the same area. And you probably know this already, but when you have a bunch of children hanging out with no supervision and in a bad area, things tend to not always be the best. Crime, drugs, and other less then desirable things get into these kids lives.
Likewise, you have a family with means, and a parent staying home with them making sure they are focused on school activities. One that can take them to all the camps/afterschool activities, math labs, summer reading programs etc… that child is going to have way more ample opportunities to grow.
I think it should be clear that one kid would more than likey do better than the other if put in those two different situations.
Now with that said, does that mean that we should change testing scores? Well there is where I tend to disagree. And yes I understand this is going to be a different view then other people think, and though the above can statistically be proven, this is my opinion on the matter:
School is more or less a prep for life and the work force you will be in in it. It is teaching you to be a beneficially addition to the country’s growth. The reason for excelling kids in school is more or less so that those children are chosen to be good additions to the economic growth of this country… I know that’s a bit blunt but that’s really the point. We want everyone to be able to communicate well, work together well, and mentally be able to handle the work ahead of you.
Why would you want to excel someone over someone else to presumably do a worse job then the other person. Even if they had an unfair advantage, the other person is still better as and end result, and statistically will be a better addition to the workforce.
My though is we need to be helping the struggling family’s from the beginning, to make their child have more access to learning and these benefits BEFORE they go to college and the work force. At that point its too late, and the best person should be the person picked. Changing grades does not fix anything besides make some people feel better while making others feel worse.
So to answer our question in short, yes upbringing makes a difference. That why I think we do need to help those family’s that are truly trying to make the best for their families and do not have the same options. But we do not just simply need to pretend that giving out fake grades is somehow going to fix the issue or make our country excel better.
Hope that was thorough enough for you!