Equal Resources, Equal Outcomes? The Distribution of School Resources and Student Achievement in California

Research Report

Equal Resources, Equal Outcomes? The Distribution of School Resources and Student Achievement in California

Abstract

This report focuses on three crucial questions about resources in California's K-12 schools. The first is how resources vary among schools, measured in terms of class size, curriculum, and teachers' education. Second, do schools serving disadvantaged populations receive fewer resources? And lastly, do existing inequalities in school resources contribute to unequal student outcomes? The report presents detailed measures of resources at the school and classroom levels and relates them to student achievement as captured in the first statewide administration of the Stanford 9 achievement test in 1998. The study does find differences in curriculum and in the supply of highly qualified teachers based on geography and SES. Low SES schools are also likely to have the lowest test scores. (Public Policy Institute of California Monograph, February 2000.)

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