In other words, K-12 students from families that aren’t financially disadvantaged are 2.5 times more likely to meet the standards than poor students. And, the situation tends to get worse as years go by since three years ago wealthier students were only 1.5 percent more likely to meet the standards.
Common Core standards are at the center of current statewide testing. The standards were set in place to help students think on their own and develop their problem-solving skills. Each answer requires one of both of these skills from the student, while learning material by heart doesn’t help much.
On the other hand, all students, regardless their economic status, performed worse than they did three years ago, but the poor ones experienced the sharpest performance decline.
For instance, in California, the first 50 schools that had superior results in common core testing were from wealthy suburbs such as Rocklin, Davis, and El Dorado Hills, while the bottom 50 were from poor neighborhoods crowded with immigrants and other poor residents in Sacramento.
Researchers believe that the results predict what chances to have a successful career or attend a good college poor and minority students have.
“This test is absolutely a call to action to have policymakers, civil rights leaders and educators working together to close the achievement gap,”
said Ryan Smith the head of Education Trust-West, a non-for-profit focused to improve impoverished and minority students’ lives and academic achievements.
In Sacramento, only 30 percent of these students passed the latest common core test, compared with 63 percent of their wealthier peers. Only 23 percent of low-income students met statewide standards for math.
Teachers and principals in poor school districts believe that lack of jobs and housing doesn’t allow students to stay long in a school. Poor students come and go in these schools on a daily basis as their parents seek a place to work or cheaper rents. Kids whose parents work in multiple places are often neglected and tend not to attend school.
Poor students are also barred from extracurricular activities such as after-schools, summer camps, or museums. And this is reflected in their academic results. Some educators believe that the lack of access to technology may also be a problem because the latest common core testing requires a computer in many states, and many poor kids do not even know how to use a keyboard.
Image Source: Calico Spanish (blog)