Five Social Disadvantages That Depress Student Performance: Why Schools Alone Can’t Close Achievement Gaps

Leila Morsy, Richard Rothstein

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

That students’ social and economic characteristics shape their cognitive and behavioral outcomes is well established, yet policymakers typically resist accepting that non-school disadvantages necessarily depress outcomes. Rather, they look to better schools and teachers to close achievement gaps, and consistently come up short.
This report describes how social class characteristics plausibly depress achievement and suggests policies to address them. It focuses on five characteristics for purposes of illustration:
-parenting practices that impede children’s intellectual and behavioral development
-single parenthood
-parents’ irregular work schedules
-inadequate access to primary and preventive health care
-exposure to and absorption of lead in the blood.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEconomic Policy Institute
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • social disadvantage
  • student performance
  • socioeconomic disadvantage

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