Legislation specified that the subgroups must meet the same achievement standards as privileged children, but I do not believe that they addressed the challenges that underprivileged children carry with them into the classroom. Children of parents receiving less than $15,000 a year have pre-primary registration rates about twenty percent lower than those of parents earning more than $50,000 a year.1
Another problem that underprivileged kids face is their situation at home. Home structure plays a big part in education, from my perspective. Being a teen, that was once living below the poverty line, I know that it may be hard to focus on homework, study for a test, or even get enough sleep at night when you’re worrying about where your next meal will come from. This can cause stress in children, making it harder for them to stay focused at school. Of course, if you can’t focus then your grades may start to suffer; and, in a country so focused on testing, grades are super important.
International research in 2009 directed by the Program for International Student Assessment shows that amongst 15-year-olds in the U.S. and thirteen other countries ―whose children outperformed ours― the ones that lived in smaller income homes and social statuses scored significantly lower than their more advantaged counterparts.2
So what’s with the low test scores? It may be due to the fact that less than ten percent of school proceeds come from the federal government while the other ninety percent depends on state and local governments. As a result of this, school funding can vary from state to state, as well as the funding within a state. This locally driven funding can cause poorer students to have an even greater disadvantage. The higher ranked teachers are more likely to move towards higher income opportunities rather than teach at schools with poor facilities, risky work environments, and less advanced learning settings.3
This has lead me to think that maybe the federal government should put forth more funding towards education. Maybe instead of giving ten percent they could be giving forty or even fifty percent. I always hear about “rags to riches” stories, but even those take work. They take funding and support! Things