APSY 2032 Lecture 17: April 19_Psych of Learning_Perez

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Boston College
Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology
APSY 2032

Achievement Gap April 19, 2017 What is the achievement gap?  “…is a matter of race and class. Across the U.S., a gap in academic achievement persists between minority and disadvantaged students…” Intersection of socioeconomic status and race Income achievement gap at school entry  Low-income children are less ready for kindergarten that high-income children Income achievement gap from 6 to 12 years: persists throughout elementary school Racial achievement Gap: Fourth Grade NAEP Scores  Blue line = white children scoring highest  Green line = Hispanic children scoring low  Yellow line = black children scoring lowest Massachusetts Achievement Gap: Boston vs. Newton  Nearly 2x as many students are testing as proficient in Newton  Graduation rate 65% vs. 95%  Low income 76% vs. 10% Important systemic factors that impact education and the achievement gap Funding structure: • Public schools receive funding from federal, state, and local sources o Federal 9% o State 48% o Local 44% • States and local districts vary widely in the amount spent on education, leading to large discrepancies in school funding o Many districts, including Boston, rely heavily on property taxes • Title `: provides additional funding for schools in low-income districts Racial and income segregation • Milliken vs. Bradley (1974)  school districts are not responsible for desegregation across district lines o White flight • Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007)  children cannot be categorized and assigned to schools based on race School choice • Higher income families can send children to private schools if public schools are not ideal • Parents with more social capital have more knowledge and resources to choose best school • Private/charter schools have more flexibility Opportunity Gap • Family SES Disparities  Residential Segregation and Structural Oppression  Local Funding Streams = Disparities in School Funding and Resources • On average, high-income parents spend $8000 per year on extracurricular activities for kids and low-income families spend $800. • Rich-poor gaps in student participations in sports, activities, volunteer work, and church attendance have increased sharply over time. • Access to books  high=income: 300 books per child, low-income: 1 book per 300 children Language Development Why is language development important for educational achievement? • Reading comprehension • Predicts math achievement • Self regulation Virtually all subject matter is communicated verbally – students with poor language skills are disadvantaged across subjects Vocabulary • Growth depends on the amount and diversity of words in the child’s linguistic environment • Environmental factors that impact vocab development… o Parents reading books o Household communication, language exposure o Access to early childhood education o Educational TV shows and movies o Interaction with peers • Children from highest SES group hear 30 million more words than children from lowest SES group by age 4 (on average) Understanding the word gap • This is not a phenomenon limited only to lower-income families with less- educated parents • Large variability within social classes • It is not all about quantity – quality is actually more important Math: Importance of Math Learning Essential for a wide range of professional fields Critical for growth of general cognitive skills, which are exercised during problem solving • Encoding and pattern detection • Selective attention, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition • Memory, WM and LTM • Generalization and abstraction • Strategy development Achievement Gap in Math: Evidence of SES differe
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