The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Improving Student Performance in High-Poverty Schools, Report No. 96-86, June 1997
Full report in PDF format

  • Schools serving a large percentage of children from low-income families have significantly lower student test scores than schools serving a small percentage of these students. Although high-poverty schools receive more resources per student, they face greater challenges to improving student performance. These challenges include high student mobility, absenteeism, and disciplinary problems.
  • A critical step to improving student academic performance in high-poverty schools is implementing high expectations for all students. Some high-poverty schools in Florida have increased student performance by setting high expectations for their students. However, other high-poverty schools in Florida have been less successful in setting high expectations for student performance.
  • Due to limitations of available time, financial resources, and educational skills, low-income parents often have difficulty becoming active partners in their children's education. Although some high-poverty schools have implemented strategies to involve parents, limited parental involvement is still a major obstacle to improved student performance.
  • School principals who exhibit strong leadership behaviors and consistently focus on improving student performance can make a difference in the performance of high-poverty schools. While some Florida school districts have taken the initiative in considering student performance in their evaluation of principals, there is currently no legislative requirement that district school boards do so.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Public Schools (K-12 Education)

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 04-41 Progress Report: K-12 Accountability System and Student Achievement Improved, But Challenges Remain, published in June 2004.
  • Report No. 01-22 Justification Review: Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade Public Education Program, published in April 2001.
  • Report No. 00-07 Progress Report: Florida Actions Should Improve Student Performance in High-Poverty Schools, published in August 2000.
  • Text of a letter , addressed to the Florida Commission on Education Reform and Accountability, clarifying certain points raised in OPPAGA Report No. 96-86. The letter was written to address concerns expressed by some Commission members in a meeting with Mr. John Turcotte, OPPAGA’s Director.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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