TeachME Professional Development

The Relationship Between Homeless Children and Academic Achievement

Section 2: Child and Family Homelessness in the United States Since 1980

1. Which of the following is an accurate statement about the history of homelessness in the United States since the 1980's?

A. In its 1985 review of studies, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) reported that annual rates of homelessness between 1980 and 1983 increased by between an estimated 8% and 26%

B. Based on a survey conducted in 2000, it was estimated that at least 1.9 million people experienced homelessness in a year, including nearly 750,000 children

C. In 2010, the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) reported that more than 1.59 million people spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program during the 2010 AHAR reporting period

D. The AHAR report indicated that the number of homeless persons in families had increased by 25 percent from 2007 to 2010, with families now representing approximately 42 percent of the total sheltered population


The Federal Government Responds

2. Public pressure on the federal government to provide national leadership to address the needs of homeless people led Congress to pass the Homeless Person's Survival Act in 1986.

A. True

B. False


Homeless Children and Youth Identified in Schools 2004-2010

3. Consistent with data reported in previous years, in 2009-2010, _________________ was the most frequently reported primary residence for homeless students.

A. Hotels/motels

B. Living doubled up

C. Unsheltered housing

D. Living in shelters


4. In 2011, the National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) reported a worsening of the problem of child homelessness, citing the effects of the economic downturn, including foreclosures, job layoffs, rising food and fuel prices, and inadequate supplies of low-cost housing.

A. True

B. False


Section 3: History and Provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act

5. The scope of the McKinney-Vento's Act was extended in 1994 when Congress called for the inclusion of services for migratory students age 4-14 who were experiencing homelessness.

A. True

B. False


6. School districts are required to be proactive in identifying homeless students and ensuring their immediate enrollment under all circumstances, except when homeless youth are unaccompanied and unable to provide proof of guardianship.

A. True

B. False


Summary of Research Studies in the Review

7. Research has indicated that compared to all students, homeless children experience each of the following EXCEPT:

A. High rates of grade retention and absenteeism

B. Significant behavior and emotional problems

C. Significantly lower scores on standardized tests of reading and math

D. Poor results on measures of verbal and non-verbal intelligence


8. Mediating factors such as the quality of parenting, support of other adults, and the children's own executive functioning and cognitive skills may have a significant impact on homeless children's school success.

A. True

B. False


Section 5: Discussion of Methodologies

9. Studies published after 1991 that were designed to provide a better understanding of the world, behaviors, and stressors of homeless students are primarily:

A. Studies that assess a group of children living in a shelter using instruments that have normative data

B. Studies that involve a comparison of homeless to low-income housed children on instruments that lack normative data

C. A comparison of homeless and low-income children using instruments with published norms

D. None of the above


Challenges in Conducting Research on Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

10. Because homeless children, youth, and families are highly mobile, researchers have difficulty maintaining a statistically significant sample size for studies that take place over time, and as a result most studies are of short duration.

A. True

B. False


Variability Within the Population of Homeless Children and Youth

11. Although research indicates that children experiencing homelessness will exhibit academic deficits and deviant behaviors, many of these studies evaluate challenges and problems rather than strengths and capabilities, and do not necessarily give an accurate portrayal of the students' potential.

A. True

B. False


Homelessness as a Condition or a Marker

12. It suggested that homeless children should be viewed as part of a _____________, calling for educational interventions to address the needs of young people according to the severity of their deprivation.

A. Contiunuum

B. Progression

C. Sequence

D. Hierarchy


Collecting Quality Data

13. The U.S. Department of Education and The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) often use the same methods in collecting and analyzing data on homeless children, so they are frequently able to share pertinent information in order to evaluate these children's educational achievement and experiences.

A. True

B. False


Section 6: Conclusion

14. The foreclosure crisis that erupted in the first decade of the 21st century has created heightened visibility around the issue of family homelessness and has helped the general public, federal agencies, and foundations become more aware of the challenges specific to homeless families and children.

A. True

B. False


Goals of and Directions for Future Research

15. In order for researchers to be more systematic in examining the efficacy of policies and interventions for homeless children, greater knowledge of this population needs to be gathered through:

A. Observational studies

B. Longitudinal studies

C. Cross-sectional studies

D. Descriptive studies


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