ERIC Number: ED312330
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Who Falls Behind: Defining the "At-Risk" Population--Current Dimensions and Future Trends.
Pallas, Aaron M.; And Others
Using recent research on the causes of educational disadvantage in order to arrive at a working definition of educationally disadvantaged children, this paper considers the educational experiences of children at home, in the community, and at school. Thus, families and communities may be viewed as educationally deficient without necessarily being socially deficient. The reasons that they don't provide educational stimulation may be cultural or economic. Children may remain disadvantaged even though they attend school because they live in an environment that is unable to provide them with the additional learning experiences that other homes and communities routinely provide, or because they fail to receive appropriate formal education at the school. The following four key indicators of educational disadvantage are identified: (1) racial/ethnic group, with Black and Hispanic students generally performing more poorly than Whites in schools; (2) family structure, with poorly performing students usually coming from poor and/or single parent homes; (3) mother's characteristics, with students whose mothers are better educated performing better than students whose mothers are undereducated; and (4) primary language, with limited English proficient students more likely to have academic difficulty and to drop out. The educationally disadvantaged are located primarily in central cities, rural areas, the South, and the Southwest, with different risk factors predominant in different areas. Between 10 and 25 percent of children 17 years old and under can be categorized as disadvantaged currently, and both the number and percentage are expected to increase substantially in the next half century. To meet the needs of these students, new, rather than simply additional, means of delivering educational services must be found. Statistical information is provided on six figures and a list of 100 references is included. (WS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1988); excerpted from "In Our Lifetime: Schooling and the Disadvantaged" (Teachers College Press) prepared with the support of the Committee for Economic Development.