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ERIC Number: EJ898334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 65
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2719
Can Title I Attain Its Goal?
Farkas, George; Hall, L. Shane
Brookings Papers on Education Policy, p59-123 2000
The federal government's more than thirty-year attempt to solve the problems of poverty--in particular, the diminished life chances of children from low-income households--has been, according to these authors, largely unsuccessful. Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 is, and has been, the most heavily funded program in this area. This paper focuses on Title I--federal aid to schools with large numbers or percentages of poor children, historically targeted on boosting the performance of these children in grades one through three and usually working most intensely on reading. In their analysis of the Title I program, the authors find that the program has yet to produce consistent improvement in the reading and mathematics achievement of poor children. This stems in part from Title I being a funding stream, not a program with distinctive features. The authors point out that school districts regularly use these funds to pay for expenses that would otherwise come from district sources, despite clear congressional requirements that districts must maintain their own level of effort and must use the Title I funds to supplement, not supplant, their own funds. They pay particular attention to the 1994 reauthorization of Title I, which encouraged schools to adopt "whole school" reforms and allowed funding to cover children in all grades. They report that Title I has failed to accomplish its mission of closing the achievement gap between low- and middle-income students. They discuss proposals for the reform of Title 1 and stress several policies that would improve the effectiveness of Title I. These include reducing the displacement of local funds by federal funds, redirecting services toward the lowest performing students, and building a more coherent program. Comments by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Douglas Carmine, and Hans Meeder are included. (Contains 5 tables and 71 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act