"I think we like to think, 'Here we have this problem, but it's fixable. We know we could figure it out.' It's not clear we've figured it out," said Reardon, a professor of poverty and inequality in education at Stanford. "There's some deep ... problems that we as a society haven't faced up to yet."
Sean Reardon, the author of the Stanford study—”The Geography of Racial/Ethnic Test Score Gaps”—noted that Lexington is among the richest communities in the nation.
Just below Lexington on the chart are other wealthy Massachusetts suburbs—including Belmont, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Newton, Shrewsbury, Sudbury and Wincester—all of which achieve more than three grades above the national average.
“On average, school districts in Massachusetts, whether they’re poor or middle class or affluent, tend to do better than similar school districts around the country in terms of test scores,” he said.
We don’t administer a single standardized exam to all U.S. students, so a clear picture of the differences in academic performance across schools and districts has been elusive up until now, said Sean Reardon, the Stanford education professor who devised the statistical methods that make it possible to compare the mandatory tests administered in different states.
Mr. Reardon said the analysis should not be used to rank districts or schools. Test scores reflect not just the quality of schools or their teachers, but all kinds of other factors in children’s lives, including their home environment; whether they attended a good preschool; traumas they have experienced; and whether their parents read to them at night or hire tutors.
Middle-class, mixed-income neighborhoods have become less common as more neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and concentrated affluence have developed. These are not new trends, but this latest increase in segregation exacerbates the increase of economically polarized communities that has occurred over the last four decades.”
If you grow up in a community where everyone is pretty affluent, you don’t understand the conditions of a big part of the country, sean reardon said. You don’t understand how hard it is to get by on a minimum-wage job. I think it can damage our sense of social empathy.
The difference in the rate at which black, Hispanic, and white students go to school with poor classmates is the best predictor of the racial-achievement gap.
The 2016 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings were released this week and CEPA faculty scores high marks on the list. Of the 200 education scholars ranked, 10 faculty made the list: Eric Hanushek (14), Michael W. Kirst (22), Martin Carnoy (28), Caroline Hoxby (49), Susanna Loeb (62), Sean Reardon (84), Thomas Dee (100), Edward H. Haertel (169), Mitchell Stevens (179), Eric Bettinger (181).