School & District Management

Award Honors Ed Research That Casts Light on the ‘Long Shadow’ of Poverty

By Sarah D. Sparks — December 02, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Public education may provide a path to success, but many children born in poverty never find it. A trio of Baltimore researchers who tracked 30 years of pitfalls and roadblocks that hobble those children have been honored with a national award.

Last year, my colleague Karla Reid over at K-12 Parents and the Public wrote about Johns Hopkins University researchers Karl Alexander, the late Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson’s book, “The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth and the Transition to Adulthood.” It described a three-decade study tracking nearly 800 Baltimore students from the time they entered 1st grade, through school and into the workforce.

The University of Louisville this morning honored the research with its 2016 Grawemeyer Award in Education, given for “outstanding works in ... ideas improving world order, psychology, and education.”

“Studies of this depth and breadth that include census data, historical narratives, personal interviews, race, gender, family background, neighborhood and school conditions and social mobility over a lifetime are quite rare,” said Melissa Evans-Andris, who directs the award, in a statement. “The authors conclude that children’s life outcomes are substantially determined by the families they are born into. For example, just 4 percent of the youngsters from low-income families went on to get a college degree by age 28.”

By contrast, 45 percent of students from middle-class backgrounds went to college, the researchers found. Poor children fared worse than wealthier ones across an array of adult issues, the researchers found.

They also found that schools helped perpetuate race-based inequities. For example, high-income black and white students were more likely to attend racially integrated elementary schools, while students in poverty were more likely to be segregated both by race and socio-economic status.

Chart: Poor children were more likely to have problems as adults, the researchers found. Source: The Long Shadow, 2014.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Letter to the Editor School Mask Mandates: Pandemic, ‘Panicdemic,’ or Personal?
"A pandemic is based on facts. A 'panicdemic' is based on fears. Today, we have both," writes a professor.
1 min read
School & District Management How 'Vaccine Discrimination' Laws Make It Harder for Schools to Limit COVID Spread
In Montana and Ohio, the unvaccinated are a protected class, making it tough to track and contain outbreaks, school leaders say.
4 min read
Principal and District Superintendent Bonnie Lower takes the temperature of a student at Willow Creek School as the school reopened, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.
Bonnie Lower, a principal and district superintendent in Willow Creek, Mont., checks the temperature of a student as Willow Creek School reopened for in-person instruction in the spring.
Ryan Berry/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP
School & District Management Opinion 'Futures Thinking' Can Help Schools Plan for the Next Pandemic
Rethinking the use of time and place for teachers and students, taking risks, and having a sound family-engagement plan also would help.
17 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion The Consequence of Public-Health Officials Racing to Shutter Schools
Public-health officials' lack of concern for the risks of closing schools may shed light on Americans' reticence to embrace their directives.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty