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Home > News > Research News > Social Context Affects Learning Inequalities

Social Context Affects Learning Inequalities

August 13, 2007

Public education may not necessarily serve as the “great equalizer.” That’s according to a new study by James Benson and Geoffrey Borman. School and neighborhood social contexts exacerbate family-based learning inequalities in ways that result in a double disadvantage for many students from low-SES families, and a double advantage for many students from high-SES families. In a new WCER Working Paper, “Family and Contextual Socioeconomic Effects Across Seasons: When Do They Matter for the Achievement Growth of Young Children?,” Benson and Borman report that neighborhood social contexts influence reading and math achievement outcomes at school entry and during the summer season, and that school social contexts are more salient for reading than for math achievement. Click here to read Working Paper 2007-5.