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Key Factors Affecting Booker T. Washington Middle's Academic Performance

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The first factor that affects Booker T. Washington Middle’s academic performance is the incredibly high rate of student poverty. In this school, low-income students represent more than 95% of all the students enrolled. Title 1 program provides additional funding for schools with large concentrations of low-income students to support communities with the highest concentrations of homelessness for students and achieve their educational goals. The number of students of low income depends on the number of students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. Title 1 funded student types include students with limited English skills, homeless students, disabled, or any student in need. To continue receiving support, schools must make sufficient annual gains on state testing and concentrate on best teaching practices. One important thing to note is the notice that schools must make sufficient annual points on state testing and focus on best teaching practices to continue receiving support from the government. It’s relevant to 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. This is a law requiring students to take a test each year to rank and judge their schools. Schools must meet a certain target and increase their numbers, otherwise, they may face penalties such as staff firing, closing the establishment and a reduction in school funding. Many experts have already shown the unreliability of this law. Linda Darling Hammond compared the United States academic ranking with those of several countries of Europe and Asia who do not rely on standardized testing. She mentioned that the USA ranks between the rankings of 21 and 32. The country was ranked 21st in reading, 32nd in mathematics and 23rd in science. Compared to others, more than any other country, the United States tests students on multiple-choice tests. By comparison, Singapore ranked top in all three categories, only tests their students once in elementary and high school and gives more open ending, essay questions, oral and project-based experimentation. If one analyses the rankings of Singapore with the findings of Ken Robinson, what makes this country so efficient is that the academic system takes into account the three principles on which human life can flourish. Uniqueness, curiosity, and creativity. ‘Education under ‘No Child Left Behind’ is based on not diversity but conformity. What schools are encouraged to do is to find out what kids can do across a very narrow spectrum of achievement. One of the effects of ‘No Child Left Behind’ has been to narrow the focus onto the so-called STEM disciplines”. He said that science and math are very important. But education should give equal importance to other subjects such as arts, music, etc. Children are most likely to succeed and archive best if there are exposed to a broader curriculum.

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The second factor that affects Booker T. Washington Middle’s academic performance is the levels of chronic absenteeism. As mentioned earlier, the title one student represents about 95% of all the students. For the school’s neighborhood, Upton/Druid Heights has the second-highest percentage of households earning less than 25,000. A percentage of 61.7% compared to Baltimore city with 32.2%. The graph made by the Hamilton Project on students that are chronically absent used nationally representative data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey from 2012 and 2016 and sorted all students into a health limitation category. The results were that about 2% of children between the ages of 5 and 18 are chronically absent, identified as missing 15 or more days of school; this rate is significantly lower than in the CRDC data. On the net, those living in poverty have a chronic absenteeism rate of 3%, while those living in poverty were slightly less likely to be chronically absent (1.9%). So, poor students are substantially more likely to be chronically absent in almost all areas of education than non-poor students. Factors that lead to chronic absenteeism are more common for students in poverty. Poverty students are 45% more likely to have a physical impairment than their non-poor. 41% are more likely to have a serious illness, and 85% more likely to have a hearing and/or vision problem. These were the three classes with the highest levels of chronic absenteeism. In this school, the chronic absenteeism rate represents 62.20%

Finally, disadvantaged youth engage in riskier criminal behavior. “Low-income youths are more likely to engage in violent and property crimes than are youths from middle- and high-income families. In particular, low-income youths are significantly more likely to attack someone or get into a fight, join a gang, or steal something worth more than $50”. On the other hand, they are more likely to commit violent and property crimes than middle-and high-income youth. Specifically, youth with low incomes are much more likely to attack someone or fight, join a gang, or steal something worth more than $50. The standard explanation is that property crime is the most attractive alternative to crime for poor youth. If career opportunities for adolescents living in poor neighborhoods are limited, then property crime will become relatively more attractive. This is relevant to this school because as seen on the infographic, lower-income students represent 95% of the total enrollment. The next one in line is that juvenile incarceration can have very lasting impacts on a young teen’s future. It is believed that youth incarceration will have a profound impact on the future for young people as it jeopardizes the acquisition of intellectual and social capital during a critical stage of development. It is projected that juvenile detention reduces the likelihood of high school graduation by 13% and increases the likelihood of adult imprisonment by 22% People imprisoned as teenagers are 15 percentage points more likely to be incarcerated as adults for violent crimes or 14 times more likely to be incarcerated as adults for property crimes.

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