Schooling Students Placed at Risk: Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents

By Mavis G. Sanders | Go to book overview

Conclusion: Effective Schooling for Poor and Minority Adolescents: Refining the Focus

MAVIS G. SANDERS Johns Hopkins University

The preceding chapters provide insight into, and raise issues and questions about the effective schooling of poor and minority adolescents in the United States. Through the use of quantitative and qualitative methods, large national data sets, and surveys of targeted populations, these chapters collectively illustrate the value of research in the process of educational reform. A primary conclusion that can be drawn from this collection is that with the right support, schools, families, and communities have the potential to create schools where all students, most especially those who have been underserved by U.S. schools, thrive. These chapters further suggest that whether schools live up to this potential has a great deal to do with the attention that educators, researchers, and concerned citizens in students' families and communities direct toward five key areas.

The first of these areas is school expenditures. To address past inequities in educational opportunities that have resulted in unequal outcomes for poor and minority students, additional resources must be directed toward schools that serve large numbers of these students. It is not sufficient to have equal inputs because, as shown by Balfanz, Mintrop>, and Legters, schools that serve poor and minority students have needs that far exceed those of schools that serve more advantaged populations. Furthermore, as Balfanz contends, these additional resources must be committed for extended periods of time to have lasting effects on student outcomes. Students whose parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were provided rich educational

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