Among other points, the latest analysis from California Common Sense — Concentrated Disadvantage in California Schools: The New Status Quo by Kimberly Ang — found that 72% of California students now attend schools in which the majority of students are socio-economically disadvantaged. That may surprise some of you. Among our team, it seems to run counter to many of the common narratives we hear about the distribution of disadvantaged schools: that socio-economic challenges are largely isolated among a few needy schools or that those schools and districts mainly exist in extremely urban or rural areas.
Here are the brief’s four main findings:
- Concentrated disadvantage among students is the norm, not the exception.
- Disadvantage affects districts in all regions statewide, and the highest levels occur in urban LA County and throughout the rural Central Valley.
- Average student performance is strongly tied to socio-economic disadvantage. Even top performing students in high-disadvantage districts underperform compared to the worst performing students in low-disadvantage districts.
- The state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding increases will supplement high-need school districts, but it is unknown what proportion of funds will go directly to classrooms.
Here is a link to the report.