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ERIC Number: ED612837
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Test Scores Are Only a Symptom: The Challenge of Seeking to Close Educational Gaps While Ignoring Historical Legacies
Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn
William T. Grant Foundation
In the quest to address income inequality and intergenerational poverty, it is critical to seek answers to the questions "What works?" and "For whom?" Education is a prime area in which to seek solutions, as one's level of education completed is positively correlated with income later in life. This connection contributes to a specific focus on schools to reduce inequality and a reliance on test scores as both a measure of intervention effectiveness and a proximal measure of young people's future outcomes. As Richard Murnane points out in a new essay, however, some efforts to improve and expand instruction have yielded improvements in test scores, but a narrow focus on this measure alone obscures a larger picture (2021). The findings suggest what many educators and parents know: Larger contexts affect school performance. To address income inequality and intergenerational poverty, education is just one instrument--and what is needed is a tool chest. Both research and data reflect the perspectives of the researcher and the data collector, as well as the societal context. Given the widespread fallacy that research and data are objective, this recognition will require intentional effort on the part of researchers. Ignoring these facts will only perpetuate recommendations for incomplete policy actions.
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: William T. Grant Foundation
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A