Tag Archives: Income disparity

Rumble in academia about study of ‘undermatching’ of ethnic groups and elite colleges

11 Feb

Mary Beth Markein wrote in the 2009 USA Today article, Q&A: Minority, low-income students need to aim higher:

GRADUATION RATES: If graduation is assumed, students don’t want to fall behind
HIGHER ED: More on grad rates at public universities
Q: You use the term “undermatch” to describe a student who appears to be eligible for a more selective college than the one where they enrolled. Why is undermatching a problem?
Bowen: It is sort of counterintuitive. You would think a student with reasonable qualifications would be more likely to graduate by going to a school where they’re not up against super-prepared kids, where there’s less competition. One argument against affirmative action has been that African-American students get discouraged at places that are too tough for them and drop out. But we found no evidence to support that. Going to a place where you’re challenged increases outcomes. Now, there may be good reasons for undermatching, but this should not be the norm. Yet data in North Carolina suggest that 40% of students undermatch by going to a less selective four-year university, to a two-year college, or to no college.
Q: You argue for better advising for high school students. What about cost? Selective schools tend to have higher sticker prices.
McPherson: If you look at the net price, after allowing for loans and grants, it turns out that in many cases the flagships, for example, may be cheaper for low-income students than less selective institutions in the state. But financing has to be in place and unambiguous. Some relatively vague promise that families will be able to afford a particular school is probably not a message that most lower- and moderate-income families are going to believe. One answer is to make the financial aid system simpler and more reliable. Another is making sure you get the money to the right people. If this country wants to have more college graduates, we have to do better for low- and moderate-income students….. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-09-09-completing-college_N.htm

Not much has changed since 2009.

Scott Jaschik reported in the Inside Higher Ed article, Is ‘Undermatching’ Overrated?

Few educational theories have taken off as quickly in recent years as that of “undermatching.” The idea is that many academically talented, low-income students who could succeed at top colleges are not applying to, enrolling in or graduating from them. Research on the topic has attracted widespread attention not only from colleges but from the White House, where administration officials have urged higher education leaders to do more on the issue.
But an analysis published Friday in Educational Researcher (abstract available here) argues that some key assumptions behind much undermatching research are flawed — and that new studies are needed to determine how much of the theory holds. The authors are Michael N. Bastedo, director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan, and Allyson Flaster, a doctoral student at Michigan.
A key part of undermatching theory is that the disadvantaged students who enroll at less competitive colleges are missing the chance at institutions with greater resources, higher graduation rates and more prestige. But Bastedo and Flaster question whether the researchers have in fact identified the “margins that matter” to student success.
They argue that the much increased opportunity that comes from attending a “top” institution is truly evident only at the very top, the wealthiest institutions that don’t require students to borrow. But much of the undermatching research isn’t looking at the top 50 colleges, but the top 200 or so, a group so wide that it doesn’t focus on the institutions that really have exceptional resources compared to all others.
Further, the new article says that undermatching studies largely ignore a match that truly matters: whether a student enrolls at a community college or four-year institution. This choice, the authors write, is a crucial one (and perhaps far more important than whether a student attends a more or less competitive four-year institution) if the goal is to have more disadvantaged students earn bachelor’s degrees because of the relatively low rates at which community college students go on to do so.
More on ‘Undermatching’
• Study finds that a majority of low-income, high academic ability students fail to apply to a single competitive college. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/11/study-says-many-highly-talented-low-income-students-never-apply-top-colleges
• Study finds that certain interventions have an impact on whether low-income, high ability students will apply to competitive colleges. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/01/research-suggests-top-colleges-could-attract-many-more-high-achieving-low-income
• Obama administration talks to colleges about undermatching. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/12/06/obama-administration-asks-colleges-set-goals-lower-income-student-success
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/10/analysis-questions-assumptions-behind-undermatching-theory#ixzz2t35Hki7x

There is of course, a contra view regarding what this study means.

Jaschik got an e-mail reply from Professor Caroline Hoxby:

Caroline M. Hoxby, a professor of economics at Stanford University, and the co-author of several of the leading studies on undermatching, was highly critical of the Bastedo-Flaster analysis. Via email, Hoxby said: “Our studies are definitive. We not only study 100 percent (I said 100 percent and I am not kidding) of low-income high achievers, but we also have causal impacts (we have studies that rely on randomized controlled trials in which students are induced by our interventions to apply to more selective colleges).”
She suggested that Inside Higher Ed “simply ignore this low quality study,” which she characterized as “a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10,” noting that “one of the great faults of the media is to give similar weight to studies” without being able to evaluate their quality. (Hoxby is a highly respected researcher on higher education, as are some of the others who work on undermatching, but so is Bastedo, and it may be relevant that this new analysis is being published in the flagship journal of the American Educational Research Association.)
Christopher Avery, a professor of public policy at Harvard University who has written pieces with Hoxby about undermatching, said via email that the “ultimate test” of the theory would be whether interventions have an impact. If the Educational Researcher analysis is accurate, he said, then interventions wouldn’t have much of an impact. But, he noted, a study by Hoxby and another co-author found that interventions do appear to work, and that evidence is “pretty compelling,” he said. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/10/analysis-questions-assumptions-behind-undermatching-theory#ixzz2t35Hki7x

Citation:

Conceptual and Methodological Problems in Research on College Undermatch
Authors
1. Michael N. Bastedo1
2. Allyson Flaster1
1. 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Abstract
Access to the nation’s most selective colleges remains starkly unequal, with students in the lowest income quartile constituting less than 4% of enrollment. A popular explanation for this phenomenon is that low-income students undermatch by attending less selective colleges when their credentials predict admission to more highly selective colleges. We identify three problematic assumptions in research on undermatching: (a) that researchers can differentiate colleges at the “margin that matters” for student outcomes; (b) that researchers can accurately predict who will be admitted at colleges that use holistic admission processes; and (c) that using achievement measures like SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) scores to match students to colleges will reduce postsecondary inequality. We discuss the implications of these assumptions for future research on college choice and stratification.
• admissions
• higher education
• research methodology
• social class
• social stratification
Article Notes
• Received April 25, 2013.
• Revision received October 9, 2013.
• Revision received January 7, 2014.
• Accepted January 14, 2014.
• © 2014 AERA
1. Published online before print February 7, 2014, doi: 10.3102/0013189X14523039 EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER February 7, 2014 0013189X14523039
1. » Abstract
2. Full Text
3. Full Text (PDF)
http://m.edr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/06/0013189X14523039?papetoc

Resources:

Can We Fix Undermatching in Higher Ed? Would it Matter if We Did? http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brown-center-chalkboard/posts/2014/01/15-undermatching-higher-ed-chingos

Smart, Poor Kids Are Applying to the Wrong Colleges http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/03/undermatching_half_of_the_smartest_kids_from_low_income_households_don_t.html

The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty http://www.adb.org/documents/assessing-development-impact-breaking-cycle-poverty-through-education For a good article about education and poverty which has a good bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2330/Poverty-Education.html There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education, we are the next third world country.

Related:
Choosing the right college for you
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/choosing-the-right-college-for-you/

Producing employable liberal arts grads
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/producing-employable-liberal-arts-grads/

Remedial education in college
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/remedial-education-in-college/

Why go to college?
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

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3rd World America: Tropical diseases in poor neighborhoods

20 Aug

In Book: Inequality in America affects education outcome, moi said:

In Location, location, location: Brookings study of education disparity based upon neighborhood https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/location-location-location-brookings-study-of-education-disparity-based-upon-neighborhood/ moi said:

The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is. Sabrina Tavernise wrote an excellent New York Times article, Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/education/education-gap-grows-between-rich-and-poor-studies-show.html?emc=eta1

The Brookings Institute study:

Housing Costs, Zoning, and Access to High-Scoring Schools Jonathan Rothwell, Associate Fellow and Senior Research Analyst, Metropolitan Policy Program The Brookings Institution

1.97 MB PDF

Download the appendix

151 KB PDF

See, Study Links Zoning to Education Disparities http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/04/19/29zoning.h31.html?tkn=WZZFADpJ4QDbHYgGkErxvyM40vV%2B6oC2KKaZ&cmp=clp-edweek

In 3rd world America: Money changes everything moi said:

The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is. There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

Peter J. Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and the president and director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development reports in the New York Times about the latest challenge to face the poor in the article, Tropical Diseases: The New Plague of Poverty:

IN the United States, 2.8 million children are living in households with incomes of less than $2 per person per day, a benchmark more often applied to developing countries. An additional 20 million Americans live in extreme poverty. In the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, poverty rates are near 20 percent. In some of the poorer counties of Texas, where I live, rates often approach 30 percent. In these places, the Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, ranks as high as in some sub-Saharan African countries.

Poverty takes many tolls, but in the United States, one of the most tragic has been its tight link with a group of infections known as the neglected tropical diseases, which we ordinarily think of as confined to developing countries.

Outbreaks of dengue fever, a mosquito-transmitted viral infection that is endemic to Mexico and Central America, have been reported in South Texas. Then there is cysticercosis, a parasitic infection caused by a larval pork tapeworm that leads to seizures and epilepsy; toxocariasis, another parasitic infection that causes asthma and neurological problems; cutaneous leishmaniasis, a disfiguring skin infection transmitted by sand flies; and murine typhus, a bacterial infection transmitted by fleas and often linked to rodent infestations.

Among the more frightening is Chagas disease. Transmitted by a “kissing bug” that resembles a cockroach but with the ability to feed on human blood, it is a leading cause of heart failure and sudden death throughout Latin America. It is an especially virulent scourge among pregnant women, who can pass the disease on to their babies. Just last month, the first case of congenital Chagas disease in the United States was reported.

These are, most likely, the most important diseases you’ve never heard of.

They disproportionately affect Americans living in poverty, and especially minorities, including up to 2.8 million African-Americans with toxocariasis and 300,000 or more people, mostly Hispanic Americans, with Chagas disease. The neglected tropical diseases thrive in the poorer South’s warm climate, especially in areas where people live in dilapidated housing or can’t afford air-conditioning and sleep with the windows open to disease-transmitting insects. They thrive wherever there is poor street drainage, plumbing, sanitation and garbage collection, and in areas with neglected swimming pools.

Most troubling of all, they can even increase the levels of poverty in these areas by slowing the growth and intellectual development of children and impeding productivity in the work force. They are the forgotten diseases of forgotten people, and Texas is emerging as an epicenter.

A key impediment to eliminating neglected tropical diseases in the United States is that they frequently go unrecognized because the disenfranchised people they afflict do not or cannot seek out health care. Even when there is a clinic or community health center in an impoverished area, it often lacks the necessary diagnostic tests, and the staff is rarely trained to recognize and manage neglected tropical diseases. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/tropical-diseases-the-new-plague-of-poverty.html?emc=eta1

Teachers and schools have been made TOTALLY responsible for the education outcome of the children, many of whom come to school not ready to learn and who reside in families that for a variety of reasons cannot support their education. All children are capable of learning, but a one-size-fits-all approach does not serve all children well. Different populations of children will require different strategies and some children will require remedial help, early intervention, and family support to achieve their education goals.

Richard D. Kahlenberg, , a senior fellow at The Century Foundation wrote the informative Washington Post article, How to attack the growing educational gap between rich and poor.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/how-to-attack-the-growing-educational-gap-between-rich-and-poor/2012/02/10/gIQArDOg4Q_blog.html

Our goal as a society should be:

A Healthy Child In A Healthy Family Who Attends A Healthy School In A Healthy neighborhood ©

Related:

People MUST talk: AIDS epidemic in Black community https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/people-must-talk-aids-epidemic-in-black-community/

Study: When teachers overcompensate for prejudice https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/study-when-teachers-overcompensate-for-prejudice/

Location, location, location: Brookings study of education disparity based upon neighborhood https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/location-location-location-brookings-study-of-education-disparity-based-upon-neighborhood/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©