Income inequality

Homework matters depending upon which country you live in.

For years, researchers have been trying to figure out just how important homework is to student achievement. Back in 2009, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) looked at homework hours around the world and found that there wasn’t much of a connection between how much homework students of a particular country do and how well […]

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Summer school seems to work better for math than for reading

Back in 2007 a team of Johns Hopkins researchers found that low-income children tended to improve in reading just as much as their wealthier peers did during the school year. The problem, at least for a group of Baltimore children these researchers studied for 18 years, was summertime. During those three idle months, the poorer […]

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Absenteeism: another way to measure school poverty

How do you identify a bad elementary school? A new report out of New York City suggests that policy makers should identify troubled schools by their absenteeism rates — a relatively easy data point to obtain — and then work to fix the schools by addressing each one’s unique problems, from homelessness and child abuse […]

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Twenty five percent of low-income urban high schools beat the odds

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that wealthier high schools send more students to college than low-income high schools. But a October 2014 report from the research arm of the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks college students, reveals that a quarter of low-income urban high schools are doing better than a quarter of their high-income […]

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Homeless students increase by 58 percent in past six years

Despite signs of a national economic recovery, homelessness in U.S. public schools steadily increased 8 percent, to 1.26 million students, in the 2012-13 school year from the previous year. That may not sound terrible, but consider that it is part of a 58 percent jump in the number of homeless students in the six years since […]

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Lessons from Hawaii: tracking the right data to fix absenteeism

Good school attendance is associated with all sorts of good educational outcomes, especially higher grades and higher test scores. It’s obvious: if you’re not showing up for school, you’re not going to learn as much. But only 17 states track and report chronic absenteeism data, according to the Data Quality Campaign and Attendance Works, a non-profit […]

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Reflections on the underemployment of college graduates

Most people — and especially parents of 20-something college graduates — know that the job market is particularly tough right now for recent college grads. But so tough that about half of them are either unemployed or underemployed? That is what analysts for the New York Federal Reserve Bank of New York calculated, in a […]

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US educators lead the world in overestimating student poverty, which may affect educational mobility

Do educators’ perceptions of how disadvantaged their students are matter? Put another way, when teachers think their students are underprivileged, do they have lower expectations for them, and do their students achieve less at school? In a July 22, 2014, article “Poverty and the perception of poverty – how both matter for schooling outcomes,” Andreas […]

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Poverty among school-age children increases by 40 percent since 2000

  One in five school-age children lived in poverty in 2012, compared to about one in seven children back in 2000. That’s a 40 percent jump in child poverty in the last dozen years. A household of four people with less than $23,283 in income in 2012 was defined by the Census Department as poor.  This […]

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Three things that will make a school bad: child abuse, homelessness and mothers who dropped out of high school

Conventional wisdom has it that schools with high concentrations of poverty are bad. But when a team of researchers led by Dr. John Fantuzzo from University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) studied every third grader in the Philadelphia public schools, they found strong student achievement in some schools with high concentrations of […]

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