Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
Disadvantaged students who qualify for Title I funding are improving in math and reading, according to a Center on Education Policy analysis.
Party Pooper question— is it that the kids who’ve traditionally been on free/reduced lunch (most common Title 1 qualifier) are improving, or that, after years of recession, cutbacks, and no pay raises, that kids who were once not T1 eligible now are?
I ask, because back when raises happened, my kids were never eligible for free lunch (we home school, but I occasionally checked for the purpose of internet arguments!) I just checked for the coming year, and thanks to a pregnancy and 3 raise-free years, they would be eligible for free lunch. But we’re one of those families that gets 99th percentile on standardized tests just by having a pulse. (Good genes, honestly. Which is also why homeschooling my 2nd grader is laughably easy, except for the ‘motor skills’ stuff, which we have to contract out.)
Anyway, is it that we’re closing the achievement gap by helping poor kids who were previously lagging, or is it that with the never-ending-recession-of-doom we’re simply relabeling kids who USED to be middle class as “poor?” It makes a difference, I think.
Of course, then we get into the whole messy swamp where INCOME is not the driver of test scores, and something else is….. which is scary, right?
I’ve never believed that poverty caused much of anything else; not crime, poor educational outcomes nor any sort of dysfunctional behavior. I’d bet it’s more likely the other way around; poverty and poor educational outcomes are the product of a variety of dysfunctional habits and behaviors, particularly in the case of intergenerational poverty. I grew up in a town where most, people were relatively poor (gardens, fishing and hunting were necessities); however, there was almost no crime and kids worked hard enough to get a better-than-decent education. The fact that many recent Asian immigrants, speaking little or no English at home, succeed in the same schools where most fail to learn anything useful suggests that culture matters far more than income.
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