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Book part
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Melissa K. Henne and Heeju Jang

California enacted a standards-based accountability regime in 1999, aiming to boost achievement overall and narrow gaps among subgroups. Yet we know little about the…

Abstract

California enacted a standards-based accountability regime in 1999, aiming to boost achievement overall and narrow gaps among subgroups. Yet we know little about the efficacy of specific accountability practices and reform tools observed by teachers and principals. The loose-coupling critique of school organizations, positing that local educators steadily buffer interventions mounted by state actors, is challenged by a selective-coupling representation where school-level actors do experience rules and incentives that encourages compliance with state advanced curricular standards, pedagogical practices, and standardized testing. After surveying educators across a band of similar elementary schools, we can account for sizeable shares of the variance in mean Academic Performance Index (API) scores among schools and in the size of achievement gaps within schools. We found that achievement levels are higher when principals report a stronger district focus on a unified curriculum and their teachers share high expectations for learning. Gaps between white and Latino students are smaller when teachers report steady attention to meeting accountability targets. Latino achievement is more sensitive to these accountability practices, compared with the performance of white students. Even after sampling schools with similar student populations, the social-class background of students continued to heavily influence achievement levels, explaining greater shares of the variance than accountability practices.

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Strong States, Weak Schools: The Benefits and Dilemmas of Centralized Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-910-4

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2016

Douglas B. Downey

Most social scientists believe that schools serving the disadvantaged provide considerably poorer learning environments than schools serving advantaged students. As a…

Abstract

Most social scientists believe that schools serving the disadvantaged provide considerably poorer learning environments than schools serving advantaged students. As a result, schools are thought to be an important source of social problems like inequality. However, an important subset of research employing seasonal comparisons (observing how achievement gaps change when school is in versus out) disputes this position. These studies note that socioeconomic-based gaps in skills grow faster when school is out versus in, suggesting that achievement gaps would be larger if not for schools. I discuss the advantages of seasonal comparison studies and how they provide a more contextual perspective for understanding several important questions, such as: (1) What is the distribution of school quality? (2) How does inequality outside of school condition the way schools matter? and (3) Which policies, school or non-school, most effectively reduce achievement gaps? I conclude that our understanding of how schools influence inequality would be improved by employing the more contextual perspective offered by seasonal comparisons. Seasonal comparison studies have not played a meaningful role in public discussions and so the public lacks a proper understanding of the extent to which social context shapes achievement gaps. This is unfortunate because we continue to try and address achievement gaps primarily through school reform when the real source of the problem lies in the inequalities outside of schools.

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Family Environments, School Resources, and Educational Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-627-0

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Allison B. Moore, Cynthia MacGregor and Jeffrey Cornelius-White

This paper aims to examine the relationship between student achievement and racial congruence of school personnel and students to help educators and policy makers narrow…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationship between student achievement and racial congruence of school personnel and students to help educators and policy makers narrow the achievement gap.

Design/methodology/approach

This quasi-experimental, correlational study used publicly available data from 158 elementary schools in the Houston Independent School District. The authors analyzed the level of congruence of school personnel and students in relation to reading, math and science scores with the fifth-grade students.

Findings

Controlling for the percentage of economically disadvantaged students, separate univariate ANCOVAs on the outcome variables revealed significant effects of racial congruence levels on reading scores, F(2, 153) = 3.73, p = 0.026 and math scores, F(2, 153) = 3.977, p = 0.02.

Research limitations/implications

The operationalization of racial congruence had not been previously used. African-Americans and Hispanics were labeled as non-white, Asian-Americans (who do not show the achievement gap) were grouped with white students, and other minority groups were excluded. The study was a natural experiment without randomization or intervention.

Practical implications

Findings can be used to narrow the achievement gap by encouraging recruitment of Hispanics and African-Americans educators and influencing administrators as they decide where to place hired personnel.

Originality/Value

Using a much larger sample size than previous studies, this study found a factor to narrow the achievement gap.

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Journal for Multicultural Education, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-535X

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Book part
Publication date: 17 July 2006

Claudia Buchmann and Emilio A. Parrado

With some important exceptions, immigrants tend to lag behind native students in terms of educational attainment and academic achievement. Prior research has focused on…

Abstract

With some important exceptions, immigrants tend to lag behind native students in terms of educational attainment and academic achievement. Prior research has focused on two individual-level explanations for the educationally disadvantaged position of immigrant students.

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The Impact of Comparative Education Research on Institutional Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-308-2

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Soo-yong Byun and Kyung-keun Kim

Increasing income inequality particularly since the economic crisis of 1997 has called attention to the issue of growing educational inequality in South Korea. Although…

Abstract

Increasing income inequality particularly since the economic crisis of 1997 has called attention to the issue of growing educational inequality in South Korea. Although much recent research has been directed at understanding the socioeconomic gap in academic achievement, few studies have empirically examined how this gap has changed over time during the past decade in South Korea. Using nationally representative data for the most recent three cohorts (1999, 2003, and 2007) of eighth-grade South Korean students from Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), this study examines trends in the relationship between socioeconomic background and student achievement. The eighth-grade TIMSS data demonstrate that the influence of socioeconomic background on student achievement has increased over time during the past decade, offering evidence of growing educational inequality in South Korea. Various factors may contribute to higher educational inequality, including the widening income gap and recent educational transformations geared toward school choice and tracking.

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Globalization, Changing Demographics, and Educational Challenges in East Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-977-0

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Book part
Publication date: 26 July 2021

Chris Jackson and Heidi Luv Strikwerda

Poverty has many varying negative effects on the health and well-being of those enduring it. Specifically, in the world of education, regardless of the many educational…

Abstract

Poverty has many varying negative effects on the health and well-being of those enduring it. Specifically, in the world of education, regardless of the many educational reform efforts over the last 50 plus years, poverty results in markedly lower achievement regardless of the metric used to determine academic success. Through this work we hope to shine light on the wealth gap in contemporary American society and the academic achievement gap that is an inevitable consequence of this inequitable concentration of monetary means. We review various literature sources to illustrate this problem and propose possible research-based solutions to ameliorate this societal ill. Using our previous works which resulted in the creation of the theoretical foundational framework of Critical Determination, we identify tangible steps that PreK-16 professionals can readily apply in an effort to minimize the current wealth gap and correlating achievement gap experienced by many students on the margins of the American public education system.

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Minding the Marginalized Students Through Inclusion, Justice, and Hope
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-795-2

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Kathy S. Collins, Ibrahim Duyar and Carolyn L. Pearson

The purpose of this study was to examine whether the levels of cultural intelligence (CQ) of principals and teachers influence Latino students’ achievement. The study…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine whether the levels of cultural intelligence (CQ) of principals and teachers influence Latino students’ achievement. The study first tested the applicability of Ang and Van Dyne’s (2008) Cultural Intelligence Questionnaire (CQS) for the measurement of principals and teachers’ CQ levels by construct validating this instrument. Later, it investigated whether the CQ levels of principals and teachers explain the achievement levels of Latino students in mathematics and language arts.

Design/methodology/approach

A naturalistic relational research design was used to study the relationships between the study variables. Participants included a cluster random sample of 86 principals and 311 teachers in a southern state. The convergent validation was used to establish the construct validity of the CQS by correlating CQS subscale scores with several measures of principal and teacher multicultural exposure. A series of hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the association between the principal and teacher CQS subscale scores and the Latino student achievement scores on state standardized tests.

Findings

The four-factor structure of the CQS scale was found to be valid in the educational settings. Principals’ level of CQ significantly predicted Latino students’ achievement scores of eight grade math and eight grade language arts. On the contrary to the expectations, there was no evidence to suggest that teacher-level CQ as measured by the CQS is predictive of Latino student achievement. Further analyses showed that multicultural exposures of teachers, such as being multilingual and visiting other countries, significantly predicted Latino students’ language arts performance.

Originality/value

This study has policy and research implications toward understanding and eliminating achievement gaps of Latino student populations. It sheds empirical light on whether this gap can be explained with the multicultural intelligence levels of principals and teachers, the two most influential actors in schools. By construct validating CQS, the study methodologically contributed to the pertinent educational research, which lacks instruments for the measurement of CQ levels of educational workforce.

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Book part
Publication date: 22 August 2006

Mark A. Gooden and Teresa Y. Nowlin

Closing the achievement gap between white and minority students is a proposed goal of the federal 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). We discuss equity in assess to…

Abstract

Closing the achievement gap between white and minority students is a proposed goal of the federal 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). We discuss equity in assess to quality education since most students attend public schools; and should enjoy educational equity under the Equal Protection Clause under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We examine the academic achievement gap between the races; and the responsibility of educators and students to close this gap; and the NCLB connection to closing this gap. We also examine the intended and unintended effects of NCLB on minority students and educators.

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No Child Left Behind and other Federal Programs for Urban School Districts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-299-3

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2018

Khalid Arar and Asmahan Masry-Herzallah

The research aimed to clarify how supervisors in the Arab education system act to close the achievement gaps and to introduce learning programs that can empower students…

Abstract

The research aimed to clarify how supervisors in the Arab education system act to close the achievement gaps and to introduce learning programs that can empower students and improve their achievements. Qualitative research employed in-depth interviews with supervisors in the Arab education system, which constitutes a substantial element of the schools’ governance. The research attempted to answer the following questions: (1) Which steps do education administrators in the Arab education system take to reduce students’ underachievement, widen circles of cooperation and empower change agents during crises that deepen achievement gaps between Arab and Jewish students? (2) Do Arab school supervisors understand their interplay with government policies as empowering or disempowering them to improve students’ achievements and ensure the curriculum’s cultural relevance? (3) To what extent do the supervisors believe that cultural change is required to enable them to empower school communities to become societal innovators for equity, peace and renewal within existing administrative structures?

Research findings were interpreted through the lens of Turbulence Theory (Gross, 2014). Findings indicated that the supervisors strive to improve students’ achievements. A major challenge is to ensure the relevance of learning programs to the school community, while mediating between local community demands and the technocratic accountability imposed by the Ministry of Education for the implementation of its policies. This leadership is isolated in its efforts to establish fairness and education for empowerment and coexistence in a divided society. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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Turbulence, Empowerment and Marginalisation in International Education Governance Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-675-2

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Book part
Publication date: 5 August 2011

Yingyi Ma

Purpose – This chapter focuses on the family and school influences on the achievement gaps in math and reading by gender, race, and nativity.Methodology – With the…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter focuses on the family and school influences on the achievement gaps in math and reading by gender, race, and nativity.

Methodology – With the longitudinal data from the National Education Longitudinal Studies, this chapter uses panel data technique to model for the changes of the achievement from the three time points of observation, 8th grade, 10th grade, and 12th grade. This study proposes the concept of “low-level constrained curriculum” to characterize the curriculum structure that leads to the universal low level of course taking among students within the same school.

Findings – The analysis shows that this kind of curriculum structure has the most damaging effect on individual students' math achievement outcomes. For the analysis on parental involvement, the results show that school involvement is more effective than home involvement for math achievement, but not for reading. Domain-specific parental involvement is more important than general parental involvement for both math and reading. These findings have important theoretical and policy implications.

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The Well-Being, Peer Cultures and Rights of Children
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-075-9

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