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Closing the Opportunity GapWhat America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance$
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Prudence L. Carter and Kevin G. Welner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199982981

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982981.001.0001

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Why Children from Lower Socioeconomic Classes, on Average, Have Lower Academic Achievement Than Middle-Class Children

Why Children from Lower Socioeconomic Classes, on Average, Have Lower Academic Achievement Than Middle-Class Children

Chapter:
(p.61) 5 Why Children from Lower Socioeconomic Classes, on Average, Have Lower Academic Achievement Than Middle-Class Children
Source:
Closing the Opportunity Gap
Author(s):

Richard Rothstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982981.003.0005

Richard Rothsteinputs schooling inequalities within the larger context of disadvantages linked to poverty. When the nation essentially abandoned antipoverty policies, it effectively locked in vast learning disadvantages that it then asked schools to overcome. He describes how social class characteristics operate to produce differences in achievement. Rothstein discusses why when lower social class characteristics are highly concentrated in particular neighborhoods,achievement is depressed even further. He notes that better schools can elicit higher achievement from disadvantaged children than worse schools, but no matter how good school quality may be, the achievement gap will remain. He describes some practical programs—such as high-quality early childhood care and education, health clinics in schools, high-quality afterschool and summer programs, and policies to promote residential integration by race and class—that could help narrow the achievement gap. Each of these is politically difficult, Rothstein acknowledges, but none is out of reach.

Keywords:   Socioeconomic status, class, culture, parenting, poverty, neighborhoods

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