Journal Article: “The Information Gap?”


ACHIEVEMENT gap, SCHOOL choice, INFORMATION resources, DISCRIMINATION in education, ACADEMIC achievement, PUBLIC schools, MINORITY students, SOCIAL classes


Teske, Paul; Fitzpatrick, Jody; Kaplan, Gabriel




Blackwell Publishing Limited


While the “achievement gap” generally and appropriately focuses upon gaps in test scores and other outcome measures, there may also be an “information gap” between higher and lower income parents that creates a disadvantage for lower income families in choosing good schools. In this article, we examine the extent to which there is such a gap, with a focus on data from a new survey of low- and moderate-income parents who have made school choices. We find that, at least in relatively mature school choice environments like Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC, most low- and moderate-income parents report being quite well informed and they engage in a variety of different activities to become informed. Thus, the information gap between lower and higher income parents may not be as large as scholars and policymakers had assumed. We do find that parents at the very lowest end of the income spectrum, especially those earning less than $10,000 per year, do feel less well-informed and gather less information, but even here the differences are not enormous, relative to higher income parents. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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