A recent spate of reports and books linking family poverty, segregated schools, and academic achievement (see here, here, and here) have concluded that school improvement (insofar as test scores are the measure) has hit a wall. Over the past decade, test scores have plateaued in reading and math or even fallen (see here and here). After thirty years of reform after reform, achievement gaps between high- and low-income schools run to four or more grade levels between schools within and across districts (see here and here) How come?
Researchers have pointed out for decades that the largest influence on school achievement (as measured by test scores), has been family socioeconomic status. No surprise now with the release of new data on test scores that the the same findings about poverty and segregation shape student achievement. Such findings have been around since the massive Coleman Report
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