Not a Subscriber? Register Now
Department of Education Eyeing Changes to Definitions of Poverty of School ChildrenMay 14, 2013 by James Swift
At last month’s American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in San Francisco, one item discussed was a National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) white paper, which proposes changes to how the United States Department of Education classifies the socioeconomic status (SES) of children.
Under the NCES proposal -- originally published last November -- federal government agencies would incorporate U.S. Census information -- including data on average neighborhood home size and local unemployment rates -- as factors that could alter results on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests. The plan would also connect children’s test scores with broader indicators of SES, including the number of times a family has relocated over a year’s time as well as whether a child’s parents rent or own their current home.
Currently, the NCES uses an anonymous, 13-item questionnaire, in conjunction with schools’ federal free-lunch records, to measure children’s SES.
Brookings Institution Education Researcher Tom Loveless said that using free-lunch data is not an accurate gage of student poverty however. Describing the current measurements in USA Today, he called them “crude indicators” of poverty; although the current standards note parental income, the same measurements tell very little about parents’ educational levels or types of employment.
The National School Lunch Program serves more than 31 million children, the United States Department of Agriculture reports. However, the NCES believes that the program only serves about 80 percent of the nation’s eligible young people.
“It is not entirely predictable what changes might accompany the introduction of a new SES measure,” the NCES paper concluded. “But if such a measure proves to be more valid than current measures, it is possible that more attention could be given to the importance of the SES-achievement relationship and to a more equitable distribution of educational resources.”
Photo credit: John Amis, UGA College of Ag / Flikr
You must Login before leaving a comment.
Latest News Articles
Gary Gately | 12/11/13Whatever You Call It, Synthetic Pot is Poison... Read More
| 12/10/13After Newtown, School Districts Across Nation Ask ... Read More
Daryl Khan | 12/09/13Sandy Hook One Year on, the Nation Struggles With ... Read More
Daryl Khan | 12/09/13Since Sandy Hook, Tracking Mental Health Changes N... Read More
Gary Gately | 12/05/13Report Urges Ban on Detaining Status Offenders... Read More
| 12/05/13San Jose Charter School Helps Salvage Lives... Read More
Susan Ferriss | 11/27/13Nation's Largest School Police Force, in L.A., Wil... Read More
James Swift | 11/25/13How Can Youth Service Providers Keep Sex Offenders... Read More
Latest Tweets From Youth Today
Diagnosis: Adolescence, Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)
Written by Shawn C. Marsh, Ph.D. | 12/11/2013
Think back to your teenage years for a moment. Were you ever impulsive? Was it important to fit in? Did you make poor decisions? Did you ever do something that (if you had been caught) could have led to serious consequences? Don’t worry if you answered yes to any or all of these questions: you are not alone. For those working with teenagers, the good news is that we now know more than ever about why adolescents tend to have these characteristics or behaviors.
Both social and medical science have made great strides in furthering our understanding of the complex association between the adolescent brain and behavior, and what...
Whatever You Call It, Synthetic Pot is Poison
Gary Gately | 12/11/2013 | Full Article
After Newtown, School Districts Across Nation Ask What it Takes to Make Kids Safe
By Nicholas Kusnetz / Center for Public Integrity
| 12/10/2013 | Full Article
Sandy Hook One Year on, the Nation Struggles With the Stigma of Mental Illness
Daryl Khan | 12/09/2013 | Full Article