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Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares

RoentgenRoentgen Registered User Posts: 1,588 Senior Member
Thought this was a very interesting article, considering we have a Parents Forum here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/04/29/upshot/money-race-and-success-how-your-school-district-compares.html.

Any thoughts?
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Replies to: Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares

  • 2sk2112sk211 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    A real eye opener - thanks for posting.
  • missbwith2boysmissbwith2boys Registered User Posts: 594 Member
    Not surprising really. Nice to see the analysis, though it confirms much of what I think most folks already assume.

    I certainly didn't hit every dot, but there are a lot of Massachusetts schools on the upper right of that graph.

    My son showed me this last night and it made for an interesting discussion of American culture and how long it may take various groups to catch up. I'd love to see a plot of Irish immigrants in the 1800s, though the educational system was likely different and besides the data probably doesn't exist. My assumption is that there are lasting effects to how we as a society treat different groups.
  • am9799am9799 Registered User Posts: 934 Member
    Interesting. My kids go to an urban, very diverse high school that in the area is considered mediocre at best. The location is good for professionals and through the years I made a lot of friends which the minute their kids hit school age they did anything they could to go to a "better" school. I mean they did not even "risk" kindergarten. The school is very safe so it was purely an academic decision. I am more than shocked to see how high our school is in this plot. But then I clicked surrounding towns and sure enough they are all in the very upper right cluster. I can not imagine that more than half of the high schools in the country are below our high school.
  • mrsquietstorm9mrsquietstorm9 Registered User Posts: 134 Junior Member
    Unfortunately this is nothing new. The real question is how do we close the gap? Or do they want to?
  • GTAustinGTAustin Registered User Posts: 1,127 Senior Member
    I was pleasantly surprised at my school district's placing - 2 grades ahead. My district is different than many because it only has 1 HS, 2 MS and 6 ES. It has pockets of extreme wealth but also 25% ESL and a higher percentage of kids qualifying for free breakfast and a large percentage of kids who qualify for special education. We have it all in a small environment but it seems to be working. I do know the school district and the majority of parents have high expectations for their kids and the community does support activities that benefit all of the kids. It also has a strong mentoring program, reading buddies and other activities that bring parents and retired people into the schools to help. Again it appears to be working!
  • CCDD14CCDD14 Registered User Posts: 1,084 Senior Member
    "In some communities where both blacks and whites or Hispanics and whites came from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, academic gaps persisted. Mr. Reardon said that educators in these schools may subliminally – or consciously in some cases – track white students into gifted courses while assigning black and Hispanic students to less rigorous courses."

    If Mr. Reardon comes up with any different explanation of academic gaps he will not be a Stanford professor for long.
  • yearstogoyearstogo Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    Is there a study which shows any relationship between total funding schools receive (local, state, title I, other) compared to performance? I thought I had seen this before but cannot locate it.

    I spoke to a friend who works for a local school district before and he indicated that "poor schools" typically receive more total funding due to title i proceeds from the federal govt. He said it does not seem the additional funding helped these schools close the gap although presumably the gap might be much wider if the funding was not there.

    I am not certain that simply increasing funding will help much unless you can encourage parents to get more involved? In many cases, the parents are not able to help even if they have the time. Any studies that show clear results? It almost seems in our small circle of friends that most families are much more concerned with sports and allow the kids to play video games and watch tv for many hours but we are in a higher income area so these kids still easily pass EOG tests so no one is too worried.
  • NotVerySmartNotVerySmart Registered User Posts: 1,670 Senior Member
    "In some communities where both blacks and whites or Hispanics and whites came from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, academic gaps persisted. Mr. Reardon said that educators in these schools may subliminally – or consciously in some cases – track white students into gifted courses while assigning black and Hispanic students to less rigorous courses."

    If Mr. Reardon comes up with any different explanation of academic gaps he will not be a Stanford professor for long.

    @CCDD14 What precisely do you mean by this?
  • Middleman68Middleman68 Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    I think the X factor is the amount of private money that flows in to support programs at suburban school districts. Sports boosters, backstage boosters, science Olympiad, music ... there are any number of people willing to step in and provide support in the rare event of budget shortfalls. I see no problem with this, but those funds probably are not as readily available in urban areas.

    Here in NYS, for example, the Big Five (NYC, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and Yonkers) where budgets are set by the state and not voted upon -- the spending is highest per pupil.

    As for performance, kids with two adults at home hear millions more words as they are developing. Is that socio-economic? I suppose it is. But it's also a cause and effect outside of mere resources.
  • CCDD14CCDD14 Registered User Posts: 1,084 Senior Member
    @ CCDD14 What precisely do you mean by this?
    Oh, just noticed your screen name...Sorry, I did not elaborate - I did not expect that you will participate in this thread.
  • NotVerySmartNotVerySmart Registered User Posts: 1,670 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Setting aside the matter of my screen name, can you elaborate on the explanation you favor over the one offered by Reardon? Because when you write:
    If Mr. Reardon comes up with any different explanation of academic gaps he will not be a Stanford professor for long.

    I read that as a suggestion that

    1. Stanford has told a researcher to offer a specific hypothesis; or
    2. The researcher is deliberately ignoring another hypothesis, grounded in racial stereotypes, and Stanford's political correctness is all that keeps him from telling the "truth."

    I view the first possibility as far-fetched. I think the latter is believable from the vantage point of anyone who wants to believe it's true. I really hope there's another possibility I haven't considered, and you'll explain what that is.
  • partyof5partyof5 Registered User Posts: 2,674 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    "In some communities where both blacks and whites or Hispanics and whites came from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, academic gaps persisted. Mr. Reardon said that educators in these schools may subliminally – or consciously in some cases – track white students into gifted courses while assigning black and Hispanic students to less rigorous courses."

    This right here is very true. Unfortunately many minority students dont have parents who advocate for them. Some teachers and guidance counselors are guilty of having lower expectations for minorities, so they are not put on the accelerated track from an early age. Many poor parents take the teachers word as the gospel, becasue they feel inferior due to their lack of education. They dont push the teachers to push their kids.

    There was an article in the WP about this last year.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/09/22/these-kids-were-geniuses-they-were-just-too-poor-for-anyone-to-discover-them/
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,922 Senior Member
    This is no surprise to anyone who has ever had even the most cursory introduction to studying education in this country.

    There have been many, many studies showing that non-white/Asian children are consistently tracked into lower courses regardless of ability. This is nothing new or groundbreaking and has been going on since the dawn of public education in the US.

    I went from a -1.3 district to a +1.4 district between 8th grade and high school. There was no difference in the students IMO but district 1 was underfunded, the classrooms were packed, etc. That made all the difference.
  • RoentgenRoentgen Registered User Posts: 1,588 Senior Member
    @missbwith2boys, I'm not surprised by the contents of the article either. What does surprise me though is this disconnect we have in terms of meritocracy in America which is transmitted to children. I think our children truly believe if you work hard enough, do what you're supposed to, are nice to people, blah blah, you'll be successful and happy and get what you want. It's not true. Our potential is already set by our zip code, for all intents and purposes. We always have a culture that no matter what your background, your economic status, where you come from, etc. that in America you will do well if you work hard enough, and the truth is that's just not true.

    And of course, even after this article we will continue to blame school teachers for every social ill that is out of their control and everything that is wrong with education.
This discussion has been closed.