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ERIC Number: EJ736085
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
The Whole Truth: Socioeconomic Status and Educational Outcomes
Fransoo, Randy; Ward, Trish; Wilson, Elaine; Brownell, Marni; Roos, Noralou
Education Canada, v45 n3 p6-10 Sum 2005
Educators have long known that children from families of lower socio-economic status (SES) do not do as well in school as those from wealthier families. Of course, this relationship is not deterministic; many children from disadvantaged backgrounds do perform well, and many children from advantaged backgrounds struggle. But the overall trend is clear, and its influence is powerful. Indeed, in many studies of student performance, family background is the strongest single predictor of educational outcomes. Furthermore, results show the relationship to be continuous over a wide range of SES values. So it is not just that those living in poverty do poorly and everybody else does fine: there is a step-wise pattern, and each step up the socioeconomic ladder is associated with better outcomes. In this article, the authors refer to this pattern as the "social gradient" in educational outcomes. These results are so familiar and so engrained in everybody's thinking, it is easy to conclude that there is nothing to do in order to change the pattern. Moreover, the authors also summarize results of a new way of looking at educational outcomes--showing that the social gradient is actually much worse than previously documented. The method is akin to showing "the Whole Truth," as opposed to just "the Truth" as revealed by traditional means. The authors then discuss ideas and approaches that can be used to address this challenge, with examples from both urban and rural school divisions. (Contains 5 endnotes, 2 photographs, and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A