As rich and poor families have increasingly moved into separate communities, the character of neighborhood life in the United States has changed. This paper attempt to outlined several concrete steps to reduce economic segregation, rebuild communities, and narrow the opportunity gap.
Closing the Opportunity Gap. (2016). A Project of the Saguaro Seminar. Retrieved from https://theopportunitygap.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/april25.pdf
This report reviews the research and strategies for achieving high levels of student performance in high poverty schools.
Center for Public Education. (2005, August 22). High-performing, high-poverty schools: Research review. Retrieved December 8, 2016, from Center for Public Education, http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Organizing-a-school/High-performing-high-poverty-schools-At-a-glance-/High-performing-high-poverty-schools-Research-review.html
This study examined how uncertainty, both about students and the context in which they are taught, remains a persistent condition of teachers’ work in high-poverty, urban schools. Their conclusion: Traditional public schools are open systems and require systematic organizational responses to address the uncertainty introduced by their environments. Uncoordinated individual efforts alone are not sufficient to meet the needs of students in high-poverty urban communities.
Kraft, M. A., Papay, J. P., Johnson, S. M., Charner-Laird, M., Ng, M., & Reinhorn, S. (2015). Educating amid uncertainty. Educational Administration Quarterly, 51(5), 753–790. doi:10.1177/0013161X15607617
This study examined the complex linkages between teacher quality and socio-economic-based disparities in student achievement. The gap in teacher quality appears to arise from the lower payoff to teacher qualifications in high-poverty schools. In particular, the experience-productivity relationship is weaker in high-poverty schools and is not related to teacher mobility patterns. Recruiting teachers with good credentials into high-poverty schools may be insufficient to narrow the teacher quality gap. Policies that promote the long-term productivity of teachers in challenging high-poverty schools appear key.
Sass, T., Hannaway, J., Xu, Z., Figlio, D., & Feng, L. (2016, June). Value added of teachers in high-poverty schools and lower-poverty schools. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/research/publication/value-added-teachers-high-poverty-schools-and-lower-poverty-schools
One of the most critical issues facing K-12 education is the impact that poverty has on school performance. This study first examines school performance using traditional metrics for school poverty levels (percent of student body that qualify for free and reduced lunch: FRL) and school performance (school achievement based on the aggregate test scores of its student body). The results support prior research documenting the negative relationship between the level of poverty in a school and student achievement (the higher the poverty the lower the achievement). However, when replacing the student achievement metric with a student growth metric, the relationship is significantly different.
Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Olson, L. S. (2001). Schools, achievement, and inequality: A seasonal perspective. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23, 171–191.
As Secretary of Education from 1993 to 2001, Richard Riley had serious concerns about out-of-field teaching. The practice— which places in core academic classes instructors who have neither certification nor a major in the subject field taught— just didn’t make sense to him.
Almy, S., & Theokas, C. (2010). Not Prepared for Class: High-Poverty Schools Continue to Have Fewer In-Field Teachers. Education Trust.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a classroom-teacher-delivered reading intervention for struggling readers called the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI), designed particularly for kindergarten and first-grade teachers and their struggling students in rural, low-wealth communities.
Amendum, S. J., Vernon-Feagans, L., & Ginsberg, M. C. (2011). The effectiveness of a technologically facilitated classroom-based early reading intervention: The targeted reading intervention. The Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 107-131.
This report provides extensive data on the high-poverty schools and the students who attend them. It also provides information on principals, teachers, and staff who work in them.
Aud, S., Hussar, W., Planty, M., Snyder, T., Bianco, K., Fox, M., Frohlich, L., Kemp, J., Drake, L. (2010). The Condition of Education 2010 (NCES 2010-028). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.
Rich opportunities for learning are important for all teachers. Whatever expertise they
acquire in their pre-service program, teachers continue to need ongoing professional learning in order to meet additional responsibilities and the evolving needs of their students and schools. Continuous learning is especially vital for teachers who work in the dynamic and demanding environments of high-poverty, urban schools.
Charner-Laird, M., Ng, M., Johnson, S. M., Kraft, M. A., Papay, J. P., & Reinhorn, S. K. (2016). Gauging Goodness of Fit: Teachers’ Assessments of their Instructional Teams in High-Poverty Schools. Retrieved from http://projectngt.gse.harvard.edu/files/gse-projectngt/files/gauging_goodness_of_fit_0622916.pdf
Using longitudinal data on teachers, we estimate hazard models that identify the impact of this differential pay by comparing turnover patterns before and after the program’s implementation, across eligible and ineligible categories of teachers, and across eligible and barely-ineligible schools.
Clotfelter, C. T., Glennie, E., Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor. J. L. (2008). Would higher salaries keep teachers in high-poverty schools? Evidence from a policy intervention in North Carolina. Journal of Public Economics, 92(5), 1352–1370.
This study examined a teacher incentive policy in Washington State that awards a financial bonus to National Board Certified Teachers who teach in high-poverty schools. It found that the bonus policy increased the proportion of National Board Certified Teachers in bonus-eligible schools, through increases in both the number of existing NBCTs hired and the probability that teachers at these schools apply for certification. However, it do not find evidence that the bonus resulted in detectible effects on student test achievement.
Cowan, J., & Goldhaber, D. (2015). Do bonuses affect teacher staffing and student achievement in high-poverty schools? Evidence from an Incentive for National Board Certified Teachers in Washington State. Center for Education Data & Research.
This book discusses findings and recommendations of the Committee on Minority Representation in Special Education of the National Research Council.
Donovan, M. S., & Cross, C. T. (2002). Minority students in special and gifted education. National Academies Press, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055.
Fine, M. (1986). Why urban adolescents drop into and out of public high school. Teachers College Record, 87(3), 393-409.
In this study, researchers studied the ways in which daily exchanges between a parent and child shape language and vocabulary development. After four years these differences in parent-child interactions produced significant discrepancies in not only children’s knowledge, but also their skills and experiences with children from high-income families being exposed to 30 million more words than children from families on welfare.
Hart, B., & Risley, T. (2003). The early catastrophe. American Educator, 27(4), 6-9.
This study examined the relationships between poverty and a school's academic performance (both student achievement and growth).
Hegedus, A. (2018). Evaluating the Relationships between Poverty and School Performance. NWEA Research. NWEA.
This report provides descriptive information on traditional public, charter, and private school principals over the period of 1987-88 through 2011-12. It includes comparative data on number of principals, gender, race/ethnicity, age, advance degrees, principal experience, teaching experience, salaries, hours worked, focus of work, experience and tenure at current schools, etc.
Hill, J., Ottem, R., & DeRoche, J. (2016). Trends in Public and Private School Principal Demographics and Qualifications: 1987-88 to 2011-12. Stats in Brief. NCES 2016-189. National Center for Education Statistics.
The document contains the final report of a project to determine the factors that account for disproportionate representation of minority students in special education programs, especially programs for mentally retarded students; and to identify placement criteria for practices that do not affect minority students disproportionately
Holtzman, W. H., Messick, S., & National Research Council. (1982). Placing children in special education: A strategy for equity. National Academies.
This report investigates the possibility that the characteristics and conditions of schools are behind the teacher shortage crisis. The data indicate that school staffing problems are not primarily due to teacher shortages, in the sense of an insufficient supply of qualified teachers. Rather, the data indicate that school staffing problems are primarily due to a “revolving door” – where large numbers of qualified teachers depart from their jobs long before retirement. The data show that much of the turnover is accounted for by teacher job dissatisfaction and teachers pursuing other jobs. Significant numbers of those who depart from their jobs in these schools report that they are hampered by inadequate support from the school administration, too many intrusions on classroom teaching time, student discipline problems and limited faculty input into school decision-making.
Ingersoll, R. M. (2004). Why do high-poverty schools have difficulty staffing their classrooms with qualified teachers? (Report prepared for Renewing Our Schools, Securing Our Future—A National Task Force on Public Education). Washington, DC: The Center for American Progress and the Institute for America’s Future. Retrieved from https://scholar.gse.upenn.edu/rmi/files/ingersoll-final.pdf.
In this study, the authors examined whether students of different racial-ethnic groups vary in attachment and engagement and whether properties of schools (eg, racial-ethnic composition) influence these outcomes over
and above individual characteristics.
Johnson, M. K., Crosnoe, R., & Elder Jr, G. H. (2001). Students' attachment and academic engagement: The role of race and ethnicity. Sociology of education, 318-340.
This study examined the development of literacy in one elementary school with a large minority, low socioeconomic status population. The reading and writing development of 54 children was followed as they progressed from first through fourth grade
Juel, C. (1988). Learning to read and write: A longitudinal study of 54 children from first through fourth grades. Journal of educational Psychology, 80(4), 437.
This analysis examines the influence of poverty on student reading performance across grade levels.
Keyworth, R. (2015). How does reading proficiency correlate with a student's socio-economic status? Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. Retrieved from https://www.winginstitute.org/how-does-reading-proficiency
his overview looks at the best available evidence on chronic student absenteeism in the context of the scale, the impact, impact multipliers, and interventions.
Keyworth, R., Detrich, R. & States, J. (2019). Overview of Chronic Student Absenteeism: A Significant and Overlooked Obstacle to Student Achievement. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/student-chronic-absenteeism
This study examined teachers need for organizational responses that addressed the environmental uncertainty of working with students from disadvantaged neighborhoods. It described four types of organizational responses — coordinated instructional supports, systems to promote order and discipline, socio-emotional supports for students, and efforts to engage parents — and illustrate how these responses affected teachers’ ability to manage the uncertainty introduced by their environment.
Kraft, M. A., Papay, J. P., Johnson, S. M., Charner-Laird, M., Ng, M., & Reinhorn, S. (2015). Educating Amid Uncertainty The Organizational Supports Teachers Need to Serve Students in High-Poverty, Urban Schools. Educational Administration Quarterly, 51(5), 753-790.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) sponsoring rigorous independent evaluations of its funded projects to build scientifically-valid evidence about "what works." On October 29, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, in collaboration with MCC, hosted a forum with leaders of the development policy and research community on MCC's evidence-based approach.
Lyon, R. L. (2002, November). Rigorous evidence: The key to progress in education. In forum of the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy, Washington, DC.
This report provides a detailed analysis of long-term dropout and completion trends and student characteristics of high school dropouts and completers. The first measure examined was the “event dropout rate” which is the percent of students who drop out in grades 10-12 without a high school diploma or alternative credential. The event dropout rate for SY 2015-16 was 4.8%, which translated into 532,000 students.
McFarland, J., Cui, J., Rathbun, A., and Holmes, J. (2018). Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2018 (NCES 2019-117). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch.
This report provides new information on the impact of teacher quality on student achievement and offers specific steps states should take to remedy the persistent practice of denying the best teachers to the children who need them the most.
Peske, H. G., & Haycock, K. (2006). Teacher inequality: How poor and minority students are shortchanged on teacher quality. Retrieved from The Education Trust website: http:// www.edtrust.org/dc/publication/teaching-inequality-how-poor-and-minority-students-areshortchanged-on-teacher-qualit
This study found that one aspect of segregation in particular—the disparity in average school poverty rates between white and black students’ schools—is consistently the single most powerful correlate of achievement gaps. This implies that high-poverty schools are, on average, much less effective than lower-poverty schools, and suggests that strategies that reduce the differential exposure of black, Hispanic, and white students to poor classmates may lead to meaningful reductions in academic achievement gaps.
Reardon, S.F. (2015). School Segregation and Racial Academic Achievement Gaps (CEPA Working Paper No.15-12). Retrieved from Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis: http://cepa.stanford.edu/wp15-12
This meta-analysis looked at socioeconomic status and race statistics to determine whether there were relationships among socioeconomic status, race, and fathers absence from the home. The results of the meta-analysis appear to indicate that father-absence effects are independent of socioeconomic status or race.
Salzman, S. A. (1988). Father Absence, Socioeconomic Status, and Race: Relations to Children's Cognitive Performance.
This paper reviews evidence from six recent studies, which collectively suggest that teachers who leave high-poverty schools are not fleeing their students, but rather the poor working conditions that make it difficult for them to teach and their students to learn. They include school leadership, collegial relationships, and elements of school culture.
Simon, N. S., & Johnson, S. M. (2013). Teacher turnover in high-poverty schools: What we know and can do. Teachers College Record, 117, 1-36
This meta-analysis reviewed the literature on socioeconomic status (SES) and academic achievement in journal articles published between 1990 and 2000. The results showed a medium to strong SES–achievement relation.
Sirin, S. R. (2005). Socioeconomic status and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research. Review of educational research, 75(3), 417-453.
A recent report from the Southern Education Foundation documents that, for the first time in recent history, the majority of children attending public schools come from low income families. The data also shows a steady growth in this trend over the last twenty-five years: 1989 (32%), 2000 (38%), 2006 (42%), 2011 (48%) and 2013 (51%). This is particularly challenging from an education perspective. To date, the K-12 education system has not found ways to adequately serve this population as evidenced by a consistent gap in student performance between high and low income students. As more and more students come from low-income families, the success or failure of the system will hinge on its ability to respond effectively.
Steve Suitts, Pamela Barba, Katherine Dunn (2015). A New Majority: Low Income Students Now a Majority In the Nation’s Public Schools. Southern Education Foundation
For the first time in recent history, a majority of the schoolchildren attending the nation’s public schools come from low income families. The latest data collected from the states by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), evidence that 51 percent of the students across the nation’s public schools were low income in 2013.
Suitts, Steve. A New Majority Research Bulletin: Low Income Students Now a Majority in the Nation's Public Schools. Southern Education Foundation. (2015).
This research looked at test score gaps for a range of populations: between boys and girls; between black, white, and Hispanic children; between the children and the mother’s education; between children in poor and nonpoor families; and the gaps between high-poverty and low-poverty schools. They wanted to know whether gaps grow faster during summer or the school year. They were unable to answer this question as the results were inconclusive. Although, von Hippel and Hamrock did find the total gap in performance from kindergarten to eighth grade, is substantially smaller than the gap that exists at the time children enter school. The conclusion is that gaps happen mostly in the first five years of life. study suggests students who are behind peers at the time they enter kindergarten should receive early remedial instruction as the most efficacious way to improve overall performance.
von Hippel, P. T., & Hamrock, C. (2019). Do test score gaps grow before, during, or between the school years? Measurement artifacts and what we can know in spite of them. Sociological Science, 6, 43-80.
This meta-analysis of almost 200 studies that considered the relation between SES and academic achievement were examined. Results indicated that as SES is typically defined (income, education, and/or occupation of household heads) and typically used (individuals as the unit of analysis), SES is only weakly correlated (r = .22) with academic achievement.
White, K. R. (1982). The relation between socioeconomic status and academic achievement. Psychological bulletin, 91(3), 461.