"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Socioeconomic Integration and Achievement

Here is more fuel for an idea long overdue: socioeconomic integration of schools.

From the North County Times:
NORTH COUNTY ---- Wealthier school districts appear to do the best in educating low-income students, state data show.

The data, provided by the California Department of Education, show that poorer students in wealthier districts pass state standardized tests at up to double the rate of similar students in less affluent districts.

Educators said last week that that could be because wealthier districts can offer more individualized help and often have more resources.

In addition, those districts have high numbers of students with strong language skills and that can rub off on low-income students, who often start school a bit behind, said Sandy Gecewicz, chief academic officer for Vista Unified School District.

However, even in wealthier districts, a large achievement gap remains between poorer students and their classmates, the state records show. State and local school officials have said closing the gap is a priority.

"As educators, it's a moral imperative for us to be able to equip all students with the ability to compete and be anything they want in life," said Brenda Jones, assistant superintendent of the Escondido Union Elementary School District. . . .

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