Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Student Poverty, School Accountability, and Postsecondary Enrollment: A Challenge for Educational Reform in Kentucky

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The Kentucky Educational Reform Act of 1990 promised improved academic performance by public schools and greater equity in educational outcomes. The present study relates postsecondary enrollment to school accountability-testing and student poverty. It concludes that nearly a decade after reform began, high schools with large numbers of poor students send a smaller proportion of their graduates to college than do high schools with fewer poor students. Further, impoverished high schools that manage to perform well on the accountability tests lag well behind like-performing affluent schools in postsecondary enrollment. The harmful effects of poverty on education are felt throughout the state and undercut the goals that are embraced by Kentucky educational reform.