Pressure to meet national education standards may be the reason states with significant populations of African-American students and those with larger class sizes often require children to learn fewer skills, according to University of Kansas researcher Argun Saatcioglu. In order to increase test scores and avoid the negative consequences of failing to meet No Child Left Behind standards, some states are reducing the skills students are expected to learn, said Saatcioglu, who presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in August.
“Narrowing the skills students are expected to learn results in higher proficiency gains on state assessments because students have to be proficient in fewer skills,” said Saatcioglu. “While school accountability laws were enacted to address the inequalities in our nation’s public school system, our findings suggest these laws may be hurting the children they were intended to benefit.”
To learn more about the study and its findings, read this press release from the American Sociological Association. These findings have important ramifications at a time when statistics indicate that this fall, for the first time ever, ethnic and racial minorities are projected to make up the majority of students attending U.S. schools. For details read this article in The Washington Post.