State Achievement Score Trends Through 2008-09, Part 4: Is Achievement Improving and Are Gaps Narrowing for Title I Students?

 

CEP Title I report coverFor
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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