How Bright Is The Line Between Poverty And Student Achievement?
The components that affect student achievement are many, diverse and complex. Although no one cause stands alone as the source of achievement gaps, wide-ranging research suggests that there is a bright line between poverty and student achievement. The level of poverty in a school is the single best predictor of average student performance (Silvernail, Sloan, Paul, Johnson, & Stump, 2014, p.i). Historically, low-income students as a group have performed less well than high-income students on most measures of academic success—including standardized test scores, grades, high school completion rates, and college enrollment and completion rates (Reardon, 2013, p. 10). As noted by Gorski (Year), “Decades of research has uncovered horrid inequities in the educational opportunities available to students in poverty as compared to those available to students from wealthy families” (p.1). Factors that directly impact the school environment, the intersection of poverty and race, and what is being done to increase the chances of student success will be discussed in order to provide a more in depth understanding of why poverty has such a profound impact on student achievement.
Factors that Directly Impact the School Environment
The factors that most directly impact the learning environment in schools attended by students from a low socioeconomic status (SES) are the condition of the physical plant, the available…