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ERIC Number: EJ1105000
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
Jencks Comment on Downey and Condron
Jencks, Christopher
Sociology of Education, v89 n3 p221-222 Jul 2016
Christopher Jencks is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Here he comments that Downey and Condron (2016) (DC) argue that the sociology of education suffers from a one-sided view of schools' contribution to inequality. He agrees that most sociologists who study what goes on inside schools tend to portray socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in the treatment of students and in student outcomes like achievement and behavior as evidence that schools perpetuate inequality. He writes here that he is also in agreement with evidence on school-year versus summer learning that DC summarize, suggesting disparities in academic achievement widen less during the months when children are in school than during the months when they are not in school. Jenks argues that Summer learning studies suggest some combination of home environment, friendship networks, and neighborhood effects exacerbates SES disparities in test performance more than the average schoolroom does. Many unanswered questions remain about what these findings reveal about the proximate causes of disparities in achievement and (mis)behavior. Jenks suggests a first step toward answering that question would be to investigate whether SES disparities remain roughly constant from fall to spring in all schools and grades or whether the small average change in SES disparities during the school year conceals a lot of school-to-school variation around the average. [For "Fifty Years since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship between Schools and Inequality," see EJ1104970.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A