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Addressing the Racial and Economic Academic Achievement Gaps Through Expansion of Title I

Michaels, Walker (2021) Addressing the Racial and Economic Academic Achievement Gaps Through Expansion of Title I. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Public education supports the American dream by providing every child the resources necessary to be successful in life. However, disparities in access to and quality of education between children coming from the lowest and highest-income families respectively undermines the idealized level playing field and instead reinforces existing economic inequity. Title I provides much needed financial support to underfunded schools in an effort to close the gap in academic achievement, however due to inadequate funding and inefficient spending, the economic academic achievement gap has not narrowed during its 60-year lifespan.
Title I never received the budget it was designed to operate with and has further failed to grow with inflation and expanding demand. Further, historical reforms promoting standardized testing and greater school autonomy in spending result in inefficient use of the limited available funds. However, the established framework and public trust in Title I validate the need for reform over replacement legislation.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to countless student-days lost nation-wide and forced even more time to be spent online. Education during the pandemic required an internet capable device and a quiet space to study in at home, each of which are challenges that disproportionately negatively impact low-income families. Structural inequity permeating the American economy ensures lower income Americans have worse COVID outcomes secondary to inadequate protective measures, greater rates of essential workers and less physical space available, creating an intersection in which lower income Americans were affected by the pandemic at a higher rate and a worse severity.
Title I is due for renewal this summer, and President Biden ran on the promise of expanding Title I’s budget threefold to $45 billion each year. The outcome of the election and changing political climate create an opportunity for meaningful education reform, while rampant existing economic and academic inequality coupled with pandemic induced limitations propel the importance of education funding to the forefront of national attention. Here we will explore the history of academic inequity in the United States, factors limiting Title I’s impact and ultimately advocate in support of the President’s promised budget increase.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Michaels, Walkerwjm36@pitt.eduwjm360000-0002-4429-9425
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFinegold, Daviddnf@pitt.edudnf0000-0001-9901-2578
Committee MemberElias, Thistleelias@pitt.edueliast0000-0002-8613-8785
Date: 12 May 2021
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 29
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Multidisciplinary MPH
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 12 May 2021 18:18
Last Modified: 12 May 2021 18:18

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