Too many poor kids

Poor kids learn more in low-poverty schools, according to a Century Foundation study that looked at Montgomery County, Maryland schools. Writing in Time, Andrew Rotherham sees socioeconomic integration as logistically challenging. Century’s Rick Kahlenberg responds here.

It’s impossible for most low-income students to attend low-poverty schools, writes Sara Mead in her Ed Week blog. There are too many poor kids.

The study found low-income students learned more in schools in which no more than 20 percent of students qualified for a subsidized lunch, but the benefits vanished when 35 percent of students were eligible for a subsidized lunch. “Nationally, 41% of American students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches,” Mead writes. Do the math.

It’s possible for a fraction of low-income students to attend middle-class schools.  For the majority, “it is absolutely critical that we ALSO have strategies in place to enable low-income children to get a good education in high-poverty schools.”

This makes sense to me. There are some high-performing, high-poverty schools, usually organized around middle-class values. Districts could create more.

About Joanne