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ERIC Number: ED573123
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 61
Providing Comprehensive Educational Opportunity to Low Income Students. Part 5: A Proposal for Essential Standards and Resources. A Report of the Task Force on Comprehensive Educational Opportunity
Rebell, Michael A.; Wolff, Jessica R.
Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University
This fifth in a five part series, states that, if comprehensive educational opportunity is conceived as a right, then the state must commit to providing it and must develop a policy infrastructure to assure broad access, uniform quality, regularized funding, and firm accountability strictures to ensure all students a meaningful opportunity to obtain necessary services. Past efforts to ensure comprehensive opportunities for low-income students have proven ephemeral mainly because the policy infrastructure to ground the reforms permanently was never adopted. The standards movement has established such a policy infrastructure in regard to K-12 education. The standards-based approach consists of expected outcomes, specific academic standards, and extensive accountability requirements. The New York Court of Appeals in the "CFE v the State of New York," 2009 case, and courts in many other states, have issued mandates to provide the resources required to meet those standards in the sound basic education cases that have been litigated throughout the country in recent years. The aim is to create a coherent system of standards, resources, and assessments that will result in significant improvements in achievement for all students. The task force contends that the appropriate way to implement children's right to comprehensive educational opportunity and to ensure adequacy and equity in access to services in early childhood education, expanded learning opportunities, health, and family support services is to apply the same policy infrastructure that has proved so useful in K-12 education. To create guidelines for developing the full policy infrastructure for comprehensive educational opportunity, for each of the component areas of children's services that constitute comprehensive educational opportunity the task force members and invited experts developed a policy framework that included (1) setting goals for the system and articulating expected student outcomes; (2) delineating the range of program quality and performance standards that the state needs to develop in each area to ensure those goals are reached; and (3) detailing the essential resources and services needed to provide meaningful opportunities to achieve the standards. Using figures from Rothstein, Wilder, and Allgood (2011) and subtracting the current expenditures in these areas as calculated by Belfield and Garcia (2011), it is estimated that a high quality, integrated system of comprehensive educational opportunity would require approximately $4,750 more per disadvantaged child in New York State than we are now spending for these services; the national equivalent figure would be $4,230. This is not an inconsequential amount of money, but the analysis shows that broad-based implementation of the right to comprehensive educational opportunity is a feasible proposition. Furthermore, actual implementation of this range of services is likely to involve more effective and efficient arrangements than the compartmentalized way that each service is separately described for analytic purposes. Effective coordination in implementing comprehensive services is likely to reduce the total costs. Belfield, Hollands, and Garcia (2011) demonstrate that the social and economic returns of providing disadvantaged students a meaningful educational opportunity are substantial, and they clearly justify the moderate investments that are really necessary to overcome achievement gaps and ensure that all students are prepared for the challenging economic and political environments with which the nation will have to cope in the years to come. It is our responsibility to these students today, and to the futures of all our children, that we begin the hard work of adopting the policy infrastructure necessary to secure this right and determining to make these investments most effectively to create a system to provide it. [The Campaign for Educational Equity thanks the Smart Family Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the W.T. Grant Foundation, and the James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation for their support of this work. For "Providing Comprehensive Educational Opportunity to Low Income Students. Part 1: A Legal Framework," see ED573117; for "Providing Comprehensive Educational Opportunity to Low Income Students. Part 2: How Much Does It Cost?," see ED573119; for "Providing Comprehensive Educational Opportunity to Low Income Students. Part 3: How Much Does New York City Now Spend on Children's Services?," see ED573121; and for "Providing Comprehensive Educational Opportunity to Low Income Students. Part 4: What Are the Social and Economic Returns?," see ED573122.]
Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University. Box 219, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 646-745-8282; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Campaign for Educational Equity
Identifiers - Location: New York