An Effective Neuroscience Intervention for Title I Students

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An Effective Neuroscience Intervention for Title I Students

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BrainWare Safari: An Effective Neuroscience Intervention for Title I Students

 

The Logic of Title I Funding

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was intended to narrow the educational achievement gap for children from families with low socio-economic status (SES). The concept of equal opportunity was part and parcel of the social justice initiatives of the civil rights movement, and the assumption was that providing extra funding to schools with large populations of low-SES students would “even the playing field.” There is considerable debate over the question of whether Title I has been successful. Whatever one’s view, however, large disparities remain in the achievement levels of students from different SES levels (U.S. Department of Education, 2010).

The premise of compensatory funding is simple: With an even playing field in terms of funding for teaching and school buildings and technology and curriculum, all students can achieve the same level of success. The underlying assumption is that students with different SES status are essentially the same, that they come to our classrooms with the same capacity to learn and the same ability to benefit from good educational resources. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, as this paper discusses, students from low-SES families are functionally different from their more advantaged peers in cognitive abilities. They come to school with less capacity to learn and to be successful in school and in life. But, the story doesn’t end there. As this paper also discusses, research has shown that cognitive abilities can be developed and that low-SES students can catch up, both cognitively and academically.