Well-Being of Children in Working Poor and Other Families: 1997 and 2004. Measures of how well the child is developing

09/01/2008

All results in this category are displayed in Table 1.

Gifted status.  Between 1997 and 2004, children in working poor families became more likely to be enrolled in gifted and talented programs, and this improvement led to a significant edge over children in non-working poor families.  More specifically, among children in working poor families, the percentage of children who are enrolled in programs for gifted and talented students increased from 9 percent in 1997 to 14 percent in 2004.  However, among children in non-working poor families, the percentage in gifted and talented programs fell from 12 percent to 9 percent.[vi]

In 2004, children in working poor families were more likely to be enrolled in gifted and talented programs (14 percent) than children in non-working poor families (9 percent).  (This pattern is a reversal of the 1997 findings.) However, as in 1997, children in working poor families were less likely in 2004 to be enrolled in gifted and talented programs than children in working families with incomes at or above twice the poverty line (23 percent).

Repeated a grade.  Between 1997 and 2004, the percentage of children in working poor families who had repeated a grade did not change significantly (11 percent and 10 percent, respectively), while the corresponding percentage of children in non-working poor families increased from 13 percent to 17 percent. 

In 2004, as a result, children in working poor families were less likely to have repeated a grade than children in non-working poor families.[vii] (In 1997, there was no significant difference in the likelihood of children in these groups repeating a grade.)  However, as in 1997, they were more likely to have repeated a grade than children in working families with incomes at or above twice the poverty line (6 percent).

School suspension or expulsion.  Between 1997 and 2004, there were no significant changes in any of the four categories of children classified by work and poverty status. 

However, in 2004, children in working poor families were less likely to have been expelled or suspended from school (14 percent) than children in non-working poor families (21 percent).  (In 1997, there was no significant difference in the likelihood of children in these two groups being suspended or expelled from school.) As in 1997, children in working poor families were less likely to have been expelled or suspended from school than children in working families with incomes at least twice the poverty line (8 percent).

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