The purpose of Payne and Biddle’s article, Poor Schools Funding, Child Poverty and Mathematics Achievement, is finding out the effect of school funding and child poverty on student achievement in the American schools. It concerns the issue of educational disadvantages that poor children have, and their effect on their achievement at school. Additionally, the article researches the effect on student achievement posed by poor funding in the schools. Further, the article focuses on the disparities of funding schools within each state in America as opposed to other developed countries where all public schools are funded equally by the national government. The article aims at creating a further understanding on the relationship or correlation between school funding, poverty and student achievement within schools by drawing from previous research for literature review and through a new research (Campion, 1993).
Major questions addresses in this article include whether the schools would perform better if they received more funding than they currently do. This further questions whether the well-funded schools are better than the poorly funded schools in terms of performance. Many people especially parents believe that students will do better in well-funded schools while the evidence suggests otherwise. The other main question is whether the poverty level of the child will affect their achievement in schools. The research seeks to answer whether poor children will do worse than richer children do.
The most relevant information provided by the article is that there is significant or substantial evidence that school funding and child poverty have an effect on the achievement of the child. “… Significant correlations were, indeed, found linking student achievement will all predictive variables in the analysis, including the crucial variable, total school funding … and percentage of child poverty …” (Payne & Biddle, 1999, p. 10). However, the research goes on to show that when used independently, funding or level of poverty does not show a substantial effect on achievement of the child. Additionally, when the curriculum is included, the correlation increases. These results lead to the main conclusion that, “… both types of inequity affect student achievement in united states, that such effects are largely independent of one another, that these effects are substantial and that they are independent of the impact of other factors … that may affect achievement,” (Payne & Biddle, 1999, p. 10).
The key concepts to understand in this research paper are the inequities in school funding in America, and the poverty levels of children. In United States, the school funding is quite different or differs in every state and districts. The U.S., unlike other developed countries, funds its public education through local taxes, and bonds issued. Other countries will fund education through national taxes or revenues, which means equal funds for all schools. For America, this is dependent on each state. Another important concept in this research paper is poverty within America and the impoverished communities. Depending on funding, the curriculum is affected within different schools. Thus, the whole education will be affected. It is imperative to understand these concepts for an easy understanding of how the two main factors, school funding and child poverty will affect the student achievement.
The research makes an assumption that everything except the variables under testing is the same within the districts compared, which were 67. This assumption cannot be true considering the many differences within the districts such as resources. If these results are taken seriously, they could imply that the more funds a school receive, the better the achievement of students (Campion, 1993). Additionally, the implication is that the higher the income of the parent or low child poverty, the more the student achievement. The results further assert that the disparity in American school funding should be reduced, and lowly funded schools should receive more funds. Additional inference would require having further research to prove the points made in this article. If the results are not taken seriously, then it means that inequalities in school funding will remain as it is and continue to cause issues. The main point of view presented in this article is that the level of child poverty and school funding exert significant effects on the achievement of students. They have a substantial effect both independently as well as while they are combined. It further suggests that other factors also have an effect on how these two factors affect students’ achievement such as the curriculum.
Campion, M. A. (1993). Article Review Checklist: A Criterion Checklist for Reviewing Research Articles in Applied Psychology. Personnel Psychology, 46 (3): 705-718.
Payne, K. J., & Biddle, B. J. (1999). Poor School Funding, Child Poverty, and Mathematic Achievement. Educational Research, 28 (6): 4-23.