Tuesday, December 13, 2016

SKrashen: Don't trust Ed Trust when they talk about overoming povery

SKrashen: Don't trust Ed Trust when they talk about overoming povery:

Don't trust Ed Trust when they talk about overoming povery

Don't trust Ed Trust. Substance 27 (6): 3. 2002. 
Stephen Krashen 
The powerful impact of poverty on literacy development has been well documented. Children of poverty, in addition to the obvious problems they face, have very little access to reading material ; they have fewer books in the home, inferior public libraries, inferior school libraries,and inferior classroom libraries, (e.g. Duke, 2000; Neuman and Celano, 2001). This means, of course, that they have fewer opportunities to read, and therefore make less progress in developing literacy. 
The recent report from Educational Trust West (Ali and Jerald, 2001) appears, at first glance, to show that a significant number of children in poverty have overcome this problem. The report claimed to find 3,592 schools in the US that were "high- performing-high poverty" schools. In California alone, there were 355 high- performing-high poverty school. This result was considered sufficient to "dispel the myth" about the relationship between poverty and educational achievement, and was followed by newspaper articles proclaiming that these high-scoring schools can "offer a lesson" (New York Times, December 17, 2001; Los Angeles Daily News, December 16, 2001). 
The Ed Trust Report deserves another look. It has serious flaws, and, in fact, shows exactly the opposite of what it says it shows. 
Very few schools qualify. The number of schools classified as high-poverty high- scoring represents about 4% of the nation and state school population. Moreover, a closer look shrinks even this number to considerably. In fact, it shrinks it to nearly zero. 
It is easy to qualify as high-scoring. A high-performing school was defined as one in which students in ANY grade scored in the upper third of the schools in its own state in EITHER math or reading. Thus, a good performance by one grade level (in some schools only one classroom) on one test can qualify a school as "high performing." 
Consider the case of California. Of the 355 "high-scoring" schools in SKrashen: Don't trust Ed Trust when they talk about overoming povery:


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