Giving Compass’ Take:
• The 74 reports on low-income, minority students that are high-performing and the reasons they might slip off track or can’t continue their success through high school and college.
• How can schools encourage more family engagement with their child’s education? Additionally, how can they encourage their teachers to be more engaged with families?
• The Conversation released a study stating that the likelihood of a child becoming an innovator depends on his/her family background and socioeconomic status. Talented students that have less access to higher status networks are called the lost Einsteins.
Why don’t more low-income and minority students succeed in school? There is plenty of talk about bad schools, insufficient resources, turbulent neighborhoods, and the like. But there are many others who demonstrate success in school, at least for stretches of their educational careers but fall off along the way.
Instead of resigning ourselves to these outcomes, we must instead ask: Why, specifically, does this happen? And how do we fix it?
We’re sharing the stories of five students we have been supporting in a new paper, Lost in the Crowd. Though they are anecdotal in nature, we believe these profiles mirror the experiences of countless families. Together, they illuminate many of the reasons high-performing students from low-income communities slip off track. Here are some of them:
- School choice doesn’t work as well as it should for their families. Although it opens some doors, low-income parents of high-performing students face numerous barriers to placing their children in schools with high-performing peers.
- Students are shut out at an early age. Many lower-income parents are unaware of the processes for accessing rigorous, selective schools, so they cannot take advantage of them when their children first show signs of high potential in preschool or kindergarten.
- Families rarely receive clear, complete information about their children’s performance. Educators do not consistently use test data for these purposes, help families understand divergent information or counsel families toward opportunities.
- Small challenges can have major ramifications. For all these students, the difference between success and failure may come down to seemingly minor factors, such as the family’s ability to track down paperwork at the right time, having reliable transportation to school, or whether anyone notices a sign of potential in a child’s grades or test results.
Read the full article about low-income high performing students by Laura Fay at The 74
Nonprofit Sector is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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