Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement

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Socioeconomic status (SES) is the social status as measured by income, education and occupation (Placeholder5). SES influences educational outcomes, for example low-income families are unlikely to have the financial resources to purchase learning materials (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008) such as books or computers to create a supportive learning environment (Orr, 2003). The lack of resources ch widens the educational gap between rich and poor children (Hart, 2013; Lubienski, 2002). Research indicates that existing economic power in students’ community have a strong impact on academic achievement. For example, English (2002) found that approximately half of the difference in test score can be attributed to demographic factors such as income, parents’ education attainment, and urban influence, rather than the schools (Lubienski, 2002).
Low SES can have a negative impact on American children’s educational attainment. Poverty can explain 15% of the deviation in student academic performance in the United States. Although the rate is closer to the OECD average, it is much higher than the top economies including Finland, Hong Kong-China, Japan and Norway. However, in the United States there is no significant difference between advantaged and disadvantaged schools in terms of student-teacher ratios or the proportion of mathematics teachers who have at least a bachelor’s degree. In the United States, 5% of students can be considered resilient, meaning that they are among the 25% most
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