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Topic: Low Income / High Achieving Students
Replies: 4   Last Post: May 29, 2013 11:06 AM

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Robert Hansen

Posts: 11,345
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Low Income / High Achieving Students
Posted: May 16, 2013 2:17 PM
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This is a very interesting study...

I came across a reference to this study in this story here...

Essentially, the gist is that many high achieving low income students are not finding their way to "selective" colleges. This might be a true, depending of course on what you mean by "selective", "high achieving" and "low income". But what caught my attention was the pie-chart in the (yahoo) story. It states that 17% of the set of "high achieving" students are in the lowest quartile by income. In other words, the students from the poorest 25% of households still contribute 17% of the students in the group of high achieving students. That doesn't sound farfetched, unless, you spent your whole childhood growing up with students in the lowest 25% by income. Then it becomes pretty farfetched.

I need to examine the study in more detail but it states that "high achieving" is...

"Nevertheless, some low-income students are very high achievers: at the end of high school, they have grades and college aptitude test scores that put them in the top 4 percent of all U.S. secondary school students or--equivalently--the top 10 percent of students who take one the ACT or SAT college assessment exams."

And I would agree that scoring in the 90th+ percentile of the ACT or the SAT would qualify as "high achieving". What I can't fathom is that the bottom quartile of students by income (the bottom 25%) could contribute 17% of that group. That would be remarkable if the study holds up under scrutiny but I am thinking that they chose as a criteria either high SAT/ACT scores OR good grades, not both an not at least high SAT/ACT scores.

But I could be wrong, but then socioeconomic factors have a much lesser effect on education that all of the other test results have shown.

Bob Hansen

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