Recent research coming out of Ohio State University suggests that while disadvantaged students in poorer school districts may earn lower test scores than those in wealthier districts, students in both settings are learning just as much, according to a new study from researchers at Ohio State University.
The research challenges the traditional notions that performance gaps between such districts are a product of the schools themselves. “What our results suggest is that that story is probably not accurate,” said Dr. Doug Downey, a sociology professor at Ohio State University and lead author of the study. Discrepancies in test scores between wealthy or poor districts speak more to what happens outside the classroom, he said.
“It’s probably more accurate to say, there are large gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged kids at the start of kindergarten, but once they get to school, those gaps largely stop growing,” Downey said.
Board members and district administrators have been arguing this point passionately for quite some time. Districts are taking a hit for not adding value to student learning. Accountability is crucial and district leaders are not running from it, but let's get the measures right.