Socioeconomic Integration

June 20, 2006 1 min read

The most effective way to close the achievement gap across racial and income groups, writes Richard D. Kahlenberg in this Education Week Commentary, is socioeconomic integration. Research has repeatedly affirmed that a given student will perform better in a middle-class school than in a high-poverty school, says Kahlenberg. And, while the No Child Left Behind Act allows students in failing high-poverty schools to transfer to more successful public schools in their district, a recent report indicates that less than one percent of students eligible for transfer under Title I actually do so.

Lawmakers could expand the potential for socioeconomic integration of schools by creating interdistrict school choice options and removing disincentives for middle-class schools to accept student transfers from low-performing schools.

What do you think? Would socioeconomic integration of schools help close the achievement gap? Should the No Child Left Behind Act be amended to encourage the transfer of more low-income students to high-quality, middle-class public schools?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.