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.
Fourth-graders in the poorest schools have least access to science labs and materials
Hands-on science gets short shrift in high-poverty elementary schools
Teachers in the poorest elementary schools lack teaching resources for math
Eighth-graders in the poorest schools have much less access to science labs and materials
Teachers in the poorest middle schools lack teaching resources for math and science
Hands-on science gets short shrift in high-poverty middle schools
Students in the poorest middle schools have least access to qualified teachers
Students in the poorest high schools have least access to AP calculus
Students in the poorest high schools have least access to physics
Students in the poorest high schools have least access to statistics
Students in the poorest high schools have least access to computer science