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May Volume 70 Number 8 Faces of Poverty Pages Boosting Achievement by Pursuing Diversity Halley Potter What can we learn from schools that are improving student achievement by breaking up concentrated student poverty?
One morning last December, a crowd gathered at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, D.
Panelists debated whether the best way to fix persistently underperforming schools was simply to replace the administrators and teachers at the school, or whether reopening under new charter management was the only effective option. But what if, instead of changing the principal, teachers, or management in the hope that this will turn around a high-poverty school, we changed the mix of students, rebalancing enrollment so that the school did not serve a concentration of the most disadvantaged students?
When asked this question, panelist Carmel Martin, assistant secretary for the U. Department of Education, said, "I think it's a really important question. Socioeconomic integration is an effective way to tap into the academic benefits of having high-achieving peers, an Topics of discussion in educational studies community of parents, and high-quality teachers.
In the last decade, the number of public school districts that consider socioeconomic status in student assignment has grown from just a handful to more than 80 Kahlenberg, Early adopters included La Crosse, Wisconsin, which created a districtwide plan to balance school enrollment by socioeconomic status inand Cambridge, Massachusetts, which made socioeconomic status the main factor in its controlled choice program in Newer additions include Bloomington, Minnesota, and Salina, Kansas, both of which used socioeconomic balance as a factor in redrawing school boundaries in recent years.
Adding to this list, a number of charter schools now actively seek socioeconomically diverse student enrollment as part of their design. They include schools like High Tech High, which began in as a single charter school and is now a network of 11 schools in San Diego, and Citizens of the World Charter Schools, which opened its first school in and is striving to create a national network of diverse charter schools.
Going against the grain in a country where many public schools are de facto segregated by income, these socioeconomically integrated charter schools have developed innovative methods for enrolling and serving a diverse student body. The Case for Socioeconomic Integration On average, students' socioeconomic backgrounds have a huge effect on their academic outcomes.
But so do the backgrounds of the peers who surround them. Poor students in mixed-income schools do better than poor students in high-poverty schools. Research supporting socioeconomic integration goes back to the famous Coleman Report, which found that the strongest school-related predictor of student achievement was the socioeconomic composition of the student body Coleman et al.
More recent data confirm the relationship between individual achievement and student-body characteristics.
And results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress in mathematics show steady increases in low-income 4th graders' average scores as the percentage of poor students in their school decreases U. Department of Education, Of course, multiple non-school-related factors could explain why low-income students in mixed-income schools outperform their counterparts in high-poverty schools.
Students attending mixed-income schools might be more likely to have involved parents or live in a more affluent community, for example. However, a number of studies have found that the relationship between student outcomes and the socioeconomic composition of schools is strong even after controlling for some of these factors, using more nuanced measures of socioeconomic status, or comparing outcomes for students randomly assigned to schools Reid, ; Schwartz, Socioeconomic integration improves student outcomes because mixed-income schools are more likely to have certain resources or characteristics that foster achievement.
Rumberger and Palardy found that the socioeconomic composition of the school was as strong a predictor of student outcomes as students' own socioeconomic status. However, the researchers found that the advantages of attending a mixed-income school could be fully explained by school characteristics such as teachers' expectations, students' homework habits, and school safety.
They concluded that high-poverty schools could work "if it were possible to alter those policies and practices that are associated with schools' socioeconomic composition" p. That if is a serious caveat. High-performing, high-poverty schools are very rare.
The economist Douglas Harris calculated that only 1. Further, to the extent that the biggest advantage of socioeconomic integration may be direct peer effects Reid, —picking up knowledge and habits from high-achieving, highly motivated peers—high-poverty schools will always be at a disadvantage, given the strong relationship between students' own socioeconomic statuses and their academic performance.Educational assessment is the process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs.
Assessment can focus on the individual learner, the learning community (class, workshop, or other organized group of learners), the institution, or the educational system as a whole.
Topics of Discussion in Educational Studies I read the article “Another Look at what young Children Should Be learning” because the title interested me, how do we decide what to teach and when?
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By Daniel E. Slotnik and Katherine Schulten June 12, How Necessary Is a College Education? I also teach English as a Second Language and many of these questions are good topics for discussion. BrainPOP - Animated Educational Site for Kids - Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Arts & Music, Health, and Technology.
December Intersession Online Workshops for Faculty & Staff Workshops to address group work, tackling tough topics. Managing student groups and addressing challenging issues are the topics of two online workshops that will offered during December Intersession.