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K-12, Title I Education: School Choice Institutions, Experimental Programs, and Policies

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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Title I \u2014 also known as "Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged," is a "[federal] program [that] provides financial assistance through

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Title I \u2014 also known as "Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged," is a "[federal] program [that] provides financial assistance through state educational agencies (SEAs) to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards," (NCES, 2016.) Title I has existed since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, and continues to be reauthorized; most recently, Title I was included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, (Education Week, 2015). Although Title I's structure has remained much the same over the years, the education market has not, which impacts Title I's future. For example, the number of public and state-accredited schools benefiting from Title I is growing, mainly because of concerns about an increasing number of at-risk youth struggling to meet state and federal academic standards every year. In order to support this growing need, the Title I budget increases year-to-year (U.S. Department of Education, 2004). Furthermore, the Title I program is often criticized based on its effectiveness in assisting LEAs to elevate at-risk youth to meet U.S. academic standards. Because of Title I's sheer size, being the largest federal fund to K-12 education, one can critique Title I's effectiveness in a few ways. For example, school choice institutions, experimental programs, and policies often challenge Title I's formula structure. School choice essentially encourages a parent and/or child to choose the academic institution they wish to affiliate with (Sunderman, 2014). That said, some school choice entities critique the distribution of Title I, because youth that benefit from certain Title I services usually attend poor and/or underperforming schools \u2014 which often lack resources and K-12, Title I Education: School Choice Institutions, Experimental Programs, and Policies 5 educational opportunities - hence school choice seeks to shift the distribution of Title I funds away from poor schools and more towards the individual student to decide their school of choice, (Sunderman, 2014). This thesis reviews the research on Title I's structure, affiliated school choice institutions, experimental programs, and polices; the validity of the underlying assumptions of the school choice critique of Title I; in addition, a school choice policy idea is proposed by the author, which is a more feasible alternative to the ineffective Title I Portability proposal.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12