Ending the Double Disadvantage: Ensuring STEM Opportunities in our Poorest Schools


Ending the Double Disadvantage: Ensuring STEM Opportunities in our Poorest Schools

Schools are becoming more segregated by income, and the consequences for STEM education will be dire. Poor children in the United States are more and more likely to attend schools where most of their peers are poor as well, and this dynamic can have devastating effects on education.

What sort of effects? Change the Equation dug into survey data from the 2015 Nation’s Report Card to find out.  We examined gaps between students who attend the lowest-poverty schools (where no more than 25 percent of students qualify for lunch at no cost or a reduced price) and highest-poverty schools (where at least 75 percent of students qualify).

The story these data tell is straightforward and troubling: At every stage of their K-12 education, students who attend the highest-poverty schools are least likely to have access to STEM resources, experiences, and classes most wealthy parents would demand for their children. As a result, students in such schools face dim prospects for rewarding STEM careers.

Download our new brief to review our exclusive new data and learn about policies and strategies state and education leaders can adopt to boost opportunities in the highest-poverty schools.

Ending the Double Disadvantage Cover

Copy and share individual data points from our brief:

Fourth-graders in the poorest schools have least access to science labs and materials

Least access to science labs and materials

Hands-on science gets short shrift in high-poverty elementary schools

Hands-on science gets short shrift in elementary

Teachers in the poorest elementary schools lack teaching resources for math

Elementary teachers in poorest schools lack resources

Eighth-graders in the poorest schools have much less access to science labs and materials

8th-graders in poorest schools have least access to science labs/supplies

Teachers in the poorest middle schools lack teaching resources for math and science

Teachers in poor middle schools lack access to math/science resources

Hands-on science gets short shrift in high-poverty middle schools

Hands-on science gets short shrift in middle school

Students in the poorest middle schools have least access to qualified teachers

Students in poorest middle schools have least access to qualified math teachers

Students in the poorest high schools have least access to AP calculus

Students in poorest high schools have least access to AP Calculus

Students in the poorest high schools have least access to physics

Students in poorest high schools have least access to physics

Students in the poorest high schools have least access to statistics

Students in poorest high schools have least access to statistics

Students in the poorest high schools have least access to computer science

Students in poorest high schools have least access to computer science



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