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Volume 15, Number 6
November/December 1999

Facts, Not Fads in Title I Reform


It requires hard work to foster and keep good schools in poor communities, and that work has never been so important. With the trend toward resegregation and with the virtual abolishment of affirmative action, Title I remains one of the few means to narrow the achievement gap between affluent and disadvantaged children.

Title I has been the largest federal program for impoverished public schools for more than 30 years. This legislation is expiring and must be renewed by Congress, which seems determined to turn the dollars over to the states with no real protections against their misuse. Politicians who say they care deeply about the fate of our children should look carefully at the evidence on Title I and vote on the basis of proven research, rather than on political expedience. If Title I is the ark that carries vulnerable children from dysfunctional and overwhelmed schools to hopeful futures, it has to be rebuilt with the greatest care.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


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