ERIC Number: EJ703961
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-1
Research: Rags to Rags? Riches to Riches?
Bracey, Gerald W.
Phi Delta Kappan, v85 n10 p798 Jun 2004
Everyone has read about what might be called the "gold gap"--how the rich in this country are getting richer and controlling an ever-larger share of the nation's wealth. The Century Foundation has started publishing "Reality Check", a series of guides to campaign issues that sometimes finds gaps in these types of cherished delusions. The guides published so far in the series are: (1) "Rags to Riches? The American Dream Is Less Common in the United States Than Elsewhere"; (2) "Left Behind: Unequal Opportunity in Higher Education"; (3) "Turning Gold into Straw: How Huge Federal Surpluses Quickly Become Equally Massive Deficits"; and (4) "Why It's Good to Be Rich--and Getting Better All the Time." This article highlights research performed by Paul Barton, whom the author recognizes for taking the nation a little way toward doing something about the gap through what he calls "parsing"--looking for differences in variables that matter. It might be thought of as an informal meta-meta-analysis, and Barton looked, wherever possible, to find areas where the research had already been synthesized by one or more researchers. Some of the factors have been better researched than others. For example, Barton notes that there have been hundreds of studies on class size, but far fewer on the rigor of the curriculum. The latter is harder--and much more expensive--to measure, hence fewer studies. Barton's take on factors such as rigor of curriculum, teacher preparation., and school safety are described.
Descriptors: Social Mobility, Socioeconomic Status, Poverty, Family Income, Low Income Groups, Parent Influence, Poverty, Class Size, School Safety, Curriculum, Teacher Education
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A