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ERIC Number: EJ886498
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 101
ISSN: ISSN-0013-189X
Student Eligibility for a Free Lunch as an SES Measure in Education Research
Harwell, Michael; LeBeau, Brandon
Educational Researcher, v39 n2 p120-131 2010
The use of eligibility for a free lunch as a measure of a student's socioeconomic status continues to be a fixture of quantitative education research. Despite its popularity, it is unclear that education researchers are familiar with what student eligibility for a free lunch does (and does not) represent. The authors examine the National School Lunch Program, which is responsible for certifying students as eligible for a free lunch, and conclude that free lunch eligibility is a poor measure of socioeconomic status, which suffers from important deficiencies that can bias inferences. A table characterizing key strengths and weaknesses of variables used as measures of socioeconomic status is provided to facilitate comparisons. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED531483; ED560724