State Achievement Score Trends Through 2008-09, Part 4: Is Achievement Improving and Are Gaps Narrowing for Title I Students?
For all the disaggregation of test scores that has taken place since the implementation of NCLB, little attention has been placed on the Title I student population itself (those in schools with high percentages of low-income pupils). This Center on Education Policy report—the fourth in a series on student achievement—spotlights these kids. It assesses trends in Title I and non-Title I student-achievement data (for grades four, eight, and either ten or eleven) between 2002 and 2009, and the findings initially appear promising. Of the nineteen states that disaggregate achievement data by Title I status, fifteen saw improvement among Title I participants. Additionally, gaps between Title I and non-Title I students have narrowed more frequently than they have widened since 2002. Unfortunately, while CEP offers a needed peek at Title I student success, the report’s basic methodology limits the reach of its findings. Not only does it not correct for shifting levels of Title I funding, it also cannot disaggregate student achievement (or school funding) by students enrolled in school-wide or targeted-assistance programs (albeit that these targeted-assistance programs are quickly becoming things of the past). So kudos to CEP for shining light on the effectiveness of Title I efforts, but many more bulbs will have to be illuminated to truly understand the efficacy of Title I’s $14 billion.
Nancy Kober, Jennifer McMurrer, and Malini R. Silva, “State Achievement Score Trends Through 2008-09, Part 4: Is Achievement Improving and Are Gaps Narrowing for Title I Students?,” (Washington, D.C.: Center for Education Policy, August 2011).
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