Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why Do Poorer Students Perform Poorly?

KDeRosa of D-Ed Reckoning believes that the cause of less-than-satisfactory student performance isn't poverty, but bad schools:
I've been playing around with the 2005/2006 released scores for Pennsylvania's PSSA exam while doing a little research on the KIPP school in Philadelphia and stumbled upon a few interesting results.

A few months back, the edusphere was atwitter with Richard Rothstein's Kozol-esque claim that poor kids would perform better if they were placed in more affluent schools.

Let's see if this claim has any bearing to reality (at least in Pennsylvania).

I looked at the the data for the 7th grade PSSA exam, a grade when most poor kids have not yet dropped out. There were 803 schools with disaggreagated data for low SES students.

I limited my analysis to schools to good schools, i.e., schools that were capable of successfully educating poor kids. My theory is that bad schools are the cause of education failure in of and themselves. This failuire hits poor kids especially hard.
Agree or disagree, a read of the whole thing (as well as the large number of reader comments) does provoke thought.
See our latest EduPosts and this date's Extra Credit Reading.