[This article got a lot of attention when it was published (at least among the folks I’m friends with on facebook and in real life). The subtitle says it best, “Sixth graders in the richest school districts are four grade levels ahead of children in the poorest districts.” The charts are beautiful, as my friend and designer, Roger, pointed out. And they are riveting because of the way they so clearly show the impact of socio-economics in our country. But, importantly, the data also show that intersectionality is alive and well when it comes to student performance. Race (because of racism) also has an impact so to be poor and of color is to be even more likely to be behind. Is integration part of the solution? The superintendent they profile argues that in her district it is about “incremental steps everywhere,” but I wonder about more seismic shifts.]
New York Times APRIL 29, 2016
We’ve long known of the persistent and troublesome academic gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers in public schools.
We’ve long understood the primary reason, too: A higher proportion of black and Hispanic children come from poor families. A new analysis of reading and math test score data from across the country confirms just how much socioeconomic conditions matter.
Children in the school districts with the highest concentrations of poverty score an average of more than four grade levels below children in the richest districts. (Reliable estimates were not available for Asian-Americans.)
Even more sobering, the analysis shows that the largest gaps between white children and their minority classmates emerge in some of the wealthiest communities, such as Berkeley, Calif.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; and Evanston, Ill.