Poverty plus segregation

A recent study by Stanford researchers found student achievement gaps are mainly driven by school poverty — not a school’s racial composition. “Racial segregation appears to be harmful because it concentrates minority students in high-poverty schools, which are, on average, less effective than lower-poverty schools,” the study found.

Take, for instance, results in the key areas of third-grade reading and eighth-grade math. Smarter Balanced results from 2019 showed all groups doing better and some gaps narrowing dramatically when poverty wasn’t an issue, though some disparities remained.