ERIC Number: ED413396
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Sep
The Social Context of Education. Findings from "The Condition of Education, 1997," No. 10.
Young, Beth Aronstamm; Smith, Thomas M.
Data from "The Condition of Education, 1997" are used to show how changes over time in the composition of students in terms of factors such as student English language proficiency, family income, parents' education, and family structure affect the social context of education. This report traces associations between these student-level social factors and different indicators of educational access and progress. For each factor, the report shows changes over time and how the factor affects various racial and ethnic groups. The following factors are considered: (1) student background; (2) changes in the social background of children; (3) the social context of public schools; (4) learning environment in high and low poverty schools; and (5) resource equity across high and low poverty schools. Findings indicate: the structure of families is shifting away from the two-parent family, and the percentage of children of minority background is increasing, as is the percentage of children who have difficulty speaking English; median family income has been relatively stagnant over the past 25 years, and the poverty rate has changed very little; and Black and Hispanic children are still more likely to live in poverty, and to attend schools with a high level of poverty. On the positive side, more children live in home with more educated parents than a few decades ago, and parent education level is a strong predictor of student achievement. Changes in social context present challenges schools must address to enhance their effectiveness and ensure educational progress. (Contains nine figures and seven tables.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Access to Education, Context Effect, Educational Indicators, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Structure, Higher Education, Language Proficiency, Low Income Groups, Minority Groups, Parent Education, Social Change, Social Influences, Student Characteristics, Trend Analysis
U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: For "The Condition of Education, 1997," see ED 404 766.