School readiness reflects a child’sability to flourish academically in a school environment. School readinessrequires cognitive skills, language skills, physical well-being and emotionalhealth, appropriate motor development, and social competence. Unfortunately,many fall short when it comes to school readiness, especially those who grow upin home of low-socioeconomic statues (SES). It is even more evident that manychildren from lower income households perform significantly lower than thosefrom higher income households.
Many who study this epidemic ask questions like”Why do the rich end up performing better than the poor in school?”, “Why is itthat the government provide funds to private schools but doesn’t provide publicschools with the same?” Why is it that those with higher income tend to succeedmore than those with low income?”. Poverty and its impact on education has beena controversial topic for many years. Not only has it been debated in theUnited States, it is debated all over the world. Researchers believe that it isimperative to understand this concept and continue to study the correlationbetween students who are considered low SES and decreased academic achievement.Therefore, poverty places children at a substantial disadvantage to their moreeconomically secure peers academically.
Impact of Poverty on Children’s Development andEducational Outcomes First to understand poverty, onemust define it. Several definitions are provided in regard to poverty. Povertyis often defined in economic terms, or as a social shortcoming or handicap andis outlined using measures of income. However, because of this, many argue thatpoverty doesn’t only mean the lack of material asset, but also the lack of goodhealth, well-being, capabilities, education, resources, social belonging,cultural identity, respect, and dignity. With the gap continuing to widenbetween those from lower and higher income households, researchers have studiedthe household structure of students from impoverished backgrounds and itsimpact on their academic performance.
Those who study this problem theorizethat there are many different poverty-related factors that negatively impactchild development and academic achievement to consider. They believe that when studying poverty inin relation to one’s life, one must consider contributing factors such as theincidence, duration, depth, the community characteristics (e.g., the level of crimein their neighborhoods and school features), and the impact poverty has on thechild’s social relationships (i.
e., their parents, friends, relatives, andneighbors). Whenresearchers study the concept of poverty in families, they focus on how imperative it isfor the need of families to focus on immediate basic needs such as food andshelter becomes a hindrance. The need to primarily focus on basic needs putthem at a tremendous disadvantage to those who don’t. Their ability toprioritize school readiness is weakened when faced with stress to obtainimmediate needs. Their focus blurs the concept that the benefits that come witheducation are long term. With problems like this, children in low-incomefamilies, often do not receive the stimulation and do not learn the socialskills required to prepare them for school and to excel in it. Other problems in low-income families are parental irregularity (i.
e.,absent parent or loss parent), lack of routine, lack of and/or poor rolemodels, lack of supervision, and frequent changes of primary caregivers.Many of the parents also lack familial and social support. Studies show thatchildren who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to havebeen born to a teenage mother and/or a single mother. Data shows that about only half of children livewith both of their parents, or a two parent / caregiver home. About 52 percent of graduates from low-incomefamilies have parents who attended college in comparison to 83 percent of thoseof who parents who are college graduates.
The children of college-educatedparents are twice as likely to go to college as those of high school graduatesand 7 times as likely as those who dropped out of high school. Studies show that the children of lesseducated parents suffer more emotional and physical problems. These childrenare more likely to report poor health, higher obesity rates, and have more mentaland behavioral health problems. Thus, evidence suggest that most that childrenof lower SES begin school at a cognitive and behavioral disadvantage than theirhigher SES peers. Many support that although poverty mayplay a role in the growing gap in academic achievement, is not the dominantfactor. Researchers theorize that the gap in academic achievement appears tohave grown partly because of an increase in the correlation between familysocioeconomic status and children’s academic achievement for families who areconsidered to be above the median income level. Moreover, evidence frommultiple studies suggests that this may be in part a result of the increase ofparental and familial investment in children’s cognitive development andbuilding of social networks.Low SES vs High SES Thechallenges such children face compared to their more fortunate peers areenormous.
The achievement gap between children from high- and low-socioeconomic status households is roughly thirty to forty percent more amongchildren born in 2001 (Reardon, 2011) which is nearly twice as large as theblack-white achievement gap. Researchers have found that on the day thatchildren start kindergarten, children from families of low socioeconomic statusare already more than twelve months behind the children of college graduates intheir comprehension of math and reading. Even some of the strongest set ofstudents from disadvantaged backgrounds, who begin kindergarten with strongmath and reading comprehension as high socioeconomic status children, still fallbehind in academic achievement. Due to having much lower SES,children are less likely to afford private school or the many developmental andsocial enhancement opportunities (e.
g., tutoring, music lessons, sports,performing arts) that higher-educated and richer parents provide for theirchildren. Many theorize that one of the reasons why children perform well inschool is because they are enrolled in after-school programs.
Parents withhigher SES tend to enroll their children more frequently for after-schoolprograms. Many believe that the reason behind this is that parents want toprovide their children with more opportunities to learn more “throughout the day- not just inschool”. After-school programs provide children with more one-on-onehelp, especially for those who are struggling in different subjects.
Those ofhigher SES take advantage of these programs much more than those of lower SES.The students with low SES who struggle with their subjects usually cannot affordthese programs or afford to pay for tutors to help tutor their children likethose of higher SES. The lack of ability to pay for these enhancements is believedto be a principal reason why many low SES children continue to struggle and fallbehind their higher SES peers. For those who live in neighborhoodswith high-priced homes that are financed by real estate taxes, public educationis said to becoming much more compartmentalized. Well-funded schools where the children of highSES have a much easier time attracting well qualified teachers and staff incomparison to schools that serve low SES children. Teachers in private schoolsare much more likely to have a graduate or doctrine degree, while public schoolteachers are only required to have a bachelor’s degree and or a master in theirsubject.
So, because of the high quality of teachers, the level of educationalmaterial provided is much more difficult than of that for public school. Studentswho come from families with low SES attend public schools are about 33 percentare more likely staffed with inexperienced teachers that do not providematerial needed for college prep to ensure their students are ready for highereducation according to NAME.Some argue that some classrooms with more low SES students are more problematicto teach, therefore teachers are forced to provide more basic education becauselow SES children are often far behind. When children academic performance suffers, theirdevelopment is restricted because they are more likely to be held back a grade.
With being more financially stable,most high SES families are able to afford tuition for their children to attendprivate schools. Parents with low SES tend to enroll their children into publicschools because they are free and cannot financially afford the tuition forprivate schooling. In private schools, classes are much smaller than public schoolswith 15 to 20 students per classroom. Public school classes often have 25 to 30students to one teacher- which is often way too many students for one teacherto be able to provide one-one-one interactions. Having a smaller number ofstudents per teacher allows students to receive a higher level of teaching andattention in class. Financial assistance from the government also play a part.
The government provide the assistance that is needed to keep public schools upand running. Incomparison, since private schools charge tuition for per student, they raiseenough money to avoid having to rely heavily on the government for financialsupport. Academics have argued thatstandardized tests are also a contributing factor. Many believe thatstandardized testing is economically biased. Many theorize that the tests arebiased because the design of the tests is said to be based on material from aprivileged vantage point that is incomprehensible to those fromsocio-economically disadvantaged schools and communities. Recent study (…..) reported that studentsfrom lower SES often score significantly lower on measures of math, andcommunication proficiencies, symbol usage, aptitude of concentration, and socialplay with other children than that of children from higher SES.
Researchershave also established that children from lower SES households often score loweron receptive vocabulary tests than higherSES children (…..). Interventions toImprove Educational Outcomes The effects that poverty have oneducation need to be changed. Those who advocate for this change believe that existingpower held by the those in high SES ranks should give the power to make changeto the community leaders who have the resources to make change in theircommunities.
When making these changes, it has been an extremely difficult taskwithout the help of those who have the lived-in experiences of being low SESand are motivated in reaching out and giving back to their communities toimprove the education system. The focus on SES and its impact on education iscritical when understanding how to serve underserved communities. Many arguethat the generous support from policy makers that are responsible fordeveloping policies and standards on education, are rarely coming from leaderswithin the community that truly understand these decisions. Unfortunately,impoverished communities whose voice is often left unheard, just don’t have decisionmaking authority or access to much needed resources.
Supporters theorize thatone of the most fundamental ways to battle the impact of poverty in theclassroom, is by being more empathetic of students before judging them andtheir abilities.Research has shown that not only beingmore empathic with students but implementing interventions to improve schoolreadiness, familial support, and children’s development reduces poverty-relateddisparities (….). These interventions include early intervention, family-based programs,encouragement parents to support early learning, and utilizing programs thatsupport children’s development prior to starting preschool. Interventions mustgo as far as improving the quality of teachers and curriculums taught inclassrooms, and making an investment in providing students with resources to strugglingstudents to bring them up to par with their peers.
Regarding college education, researchersbelieve that early interventions could help increase college graduation. Byusing early interventions before and in high school, it would help support reducingproficiency gaps that appear before college and increase the nation’s collegegraduation by proving easier terms on student loans or proving them with more financialaid. Inconclusion, I believe that if students with lower SES could receive some financialsupport from the government to help them pay for higher quality material for curriculums,after school programs, college, and tutors, it would help them to perform betterand succeed in school just as their higher SES peers do. The government canhelp if they make after school programs free for any student. The more that lowSES students are able to join after school programs or get a tutor, the betterresults they will have in school. It is essential to increase academicachievement not only for high SES children – but for low SES children as well.
Nomatter the SES, all students should all be given the same resources and toolsto help them through K-12 grade and be held to the same high expectations. I alsounderstand and support that to encourage change that will support our low SESstudents so that they can flourish in school, changes need to be made. Changesneed to be made within the low SES family households, the government, and in theeducation system in order to eliminate the disparities in the education of low andhigh SES students