A study reveals that high socioeconomic status of a school doesn’t mean better quality

Students taking an exam

School efficiency is linked to the speed at which students improve their results on standardized tests over a period of several years.

Some parents may think that expensive schools are better than public or low-cost institutions. Some may believe that the quality of the school is guaranteed in the wealthiest areas. Also, we assume that most parents overlook statistics such as the rate of improvement in student performance over several years when choosing their children's school. However, why is it important to analyze this uncommon metric?

An extensive study undertaken by Stanford University showed that the socioeconomic status is not related to the educational quality. Surprisingly, school efficiency is linked to the speed at which students improve their results on standardized tests over a period of several years.

Students at school taking an exam

The Stanford sociologist, Sean F. Reardon, researched 45 million student test scores from almost every US district. His study found that the most appropriate way to measure the success of a school was to examine the rate of improvement of students over time, through the application of standardized tests, and not only with the evaluation of isolated exams. At the same time, he noted that there is no significant relationship between the efficiency of the school and whether the school zone is rich or poor, or whether the institution is private or public.

Reardon's findings suggest that average test scores are weakly correlated with educational growth rates. On the other hand, the conclusions indicate that it is necessary to reduce educational inequality, communities with low socioeconomic status also get high growth rates and sometimes obtain higher scores than those of high socioeconomic status.

In this regard, the global educational challenge is to avoid segregation and improve school systems, regardless of the socioeconomic status.