Tuesday, October 15, 2013

U.S. Elementary and Secondary Schools: Equalizing Opportunity or Replicating the Status Quo?

Rouse, C. E., & Barrow, L. (2006). US Elementary and secondary schools: equalizing opportunity or replicating the status quo?. The Future of Children, 16(2), 99-123.

This article looks at the correlation between socioeconomic status and educational success of students. It takes a few factors into account, but focuses on the the nature versus nurture dilemma. The article touches on the difficulties in conducting research with human, specifically relating genetics to certain behaviors. The researchers found ways to conduct ethical experiments by observing adopted children placed  families that were not genetically related. It concludes by discussing different ideas that may help equalize opportunities in students with differing socioeconomic statuses.


Researchers have used other strategies to estimate the extent to which family income determines children's educational achievement. Again, because they cannot assume that family income is unrelated to other factors (such as inherited ability) that determine both children's socioeconomic status and their educational attainment, they must look for changes in family income that are unrelated to family characteristics such as whether the parents are highly educated or have high genetic “ability.” (Rouse and Barrow)

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