Year of publication
The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences
Title I has a mixed legacy. It helped cultivate and sustain the political salience of improving the education of children who live in poverty. It helped sweep schools, regardless of their student population’s poverty levels, into the broader national standards-accountability reform effort. It has been a vehicle for liberal, conservative, bipartisan, public, and private reform agendas. It developed durable constituencies and appetites for federal funds. While Title I helped expand governments’ administrative capabilities, it did much less to remedy the unevenness in instructional capability on which Title I built. The combination of Title I funds and standards based reform has enabled some interventions, such as Success for All and America’s Choice, to demonstrate instructional improvement. Yet the potential for interventions like these to reduce the achievement gap remains profoundly constrained by the persistently unequal allocation of educational resources, rising income inequality, and the lack of assistance from social and economic policy.