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  • Austin Jones

Study On North Carolina Schools And PTAs Asks The Hard Questions

You can read the study hosted on The National Library of Medicine here

The study can be summarized as saying that schools with active PTAs have higher achievement growth and academic performance than schools without active PTAs.

"As economic inequality increases, intergenerational mobility declines, and the link between family income and student academic achievement strengthens."

It's no secret that wealthy communities schools perform better than poor communities schools. Parents around the country strive to send their kids to the best schools or make more income to move to communities with more extracurriculars and programs.

"Do students in schools with active PTAs experience faster achievement growth than demographically similar students in schools with no active PTA? To what extent do poor and nonpoor students benefit equally from attending schools with active PTAs?"

The study asks the hard question and follows up by comparing data between the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) and nonprofits’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings. The results are stark. From 1999 to 2015 in North Carolina public elementary schools display that active PTA activity increases among higher income and white communities. Evidence also suggests that in the same school when it comes to reading, PTA benefits are disproportionate between higher income and lower income students households.

There's a lot that can be inferred from these data comparisons. It suggests we still haven't escaped the grasp of racial inequalities in this country. We still don't fully understand how to better serve the underserved communities. Our educational systems are still largely dependent on the success of their local communities.

The study summarizes it's findings by showing that in North Carolina there was a decline in membership of the national PTA from the 60's to the 90's, where it has since stagnated. Memberships transferred from the national oversight of PTA to small local community overseen PTAs. The tone of the study suggests that high performance PTAs should have national involvement and share their data to address the needs of schools with less active PTAs.

SoshWallet doesn't claim to have the answers for solving all these types of problems, but we do provide a service that can help those in this quest. We hope however you decide to address these issues, you do it with accountability and transparency!

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