Ed Consumer Group Provides Interactive Graphs on Poverty and Reading in Schools

VISUALIZING EFFECTS OF POVERTY: No one questions that particularly in the US, there's a chokingly tight relationship between poverty and education. Where the debate comes about is in trying to peel them apart: Can you defeat poverty through education? Or only really educate once you've overcome poverty? Here's more data to fuel the debates. The Education Consumers Foundation,  which has previously focused its research on schools in Tennessee, has released an interactive database comparing 3rd grade reading proficiency to percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. With scatterplots for 21 states and some sub-regions within those states, the data is intended to help parents make smart choices about where they live and send their kids to school. A quick review of NYC, Texas, California, and Florida all reflect the same correlation: the more impoverished the community, the lower the reading proficiency rates. But there is ambiguity in the data, too: the group notes that: "Schools with the same proportion of disadvantaged students may differ by 50-60 points in proficiency rate." Find your state and let us know the story behind your numbers.

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