Education Reform in the Washington D.C. School District
An Intervention for Washington D.C. Schools
PRLC 1820, Section 800
Professor J. LoPresti
April 14, 2009
Reforming public education is one of the most critical public policy opportunities of our time. Since passage in 2002, HR-1, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, established a lofty goal of decreasing the achievement gap of all learners nationwide. Insufficient data exists to clearly demonstrate the federal law has achieved its goal. A number of family factors such as a household income below poverty level, non-English primary home language, mother's highest education less than a high school diploma/GED, along with being a minority are all negatively associated with children's achievements in school. Children living in these circumstances consistently fall behind their peers in test scores, graduation rates, college enrollment, and other measures of academic success. From 1972 to 2006, the percentage of public school students who were considered to be part of a racial or ethnic minority group increased from 22 percent to 43 percent (National Center for Education Statistics, 2008). While in 2006, the mean Critical Reading score for children with a family income less than $10,000 was 429, and the mean score for children with a family income more than $100,000 was 549 (The College Board, 2006). While modest progress has been demonstrated in closing the achievement gap after seven years of No Child Left Behind huge achievement gaps still exist, especially in urban school districts. It is evident additional action must be taken by policy makers to decrease gaps in educational and academic progress.
Research has identified a variety of factors that are related to the achievement gap – students’ racial and economic background, their parents’ education... [continues]
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