Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Data: Highest and lowest performing schools for low-income students

Poorer students do worse at poorer schools, but the association is not as strong as for more affluent students. In the graphs below, each point represents one school.  "Outliers" are labelled.

A list of SFUSD elementary schools with average CST scores for economically disadvantaged students is at the end.    

Readers with household incomes under 185% of the Federal Poverty level ($42,000 for a family of 4), what's your take? Is this information useful or not useful?


 Sources:

School CST Scores for Economically Disadvantaged Students

Grades 2-5, 2011-2012

Economically disadvantaged means under 185% of the federal poverty level, about $42,000 for a family of four.  This list is ordered by the percentage of economically disadvantaged 2nd-5th graders who took the CST at each school. This percentage is slightly different from the percentages for the school enrollment.

School
% of Students Tested Who Were Economically Disadvantaged
English
Math
CIS at DeAvila
16%
347
413
Miraloma
16%
363
377
Clarendon
16%
387
434
Grattan
18%
365
368
Lilienthal
21%
364
388
Creative Arts
26%
324
307
Peabody
29%
371
396
Sunset
30%
375
424
Lafayette
30%
372
417
Yu
31%
386
446
Feinstein
32%
368
396
Rooftop
36%
351
367
McKinley
38%
350
358
Argonne
42%
365
401
Alvarado
43%
336
352
New Traditions
44%
346
377
West Portal
44%
377
409
Alamo
45%
377
418
Sherman
45%
393
439
King (Starr)
45%
314
344
Jefferson
47%
371
413
Commodore Sloat
48%
363
396
Milk
51%
361
365
Key
53%
382
417
Lawton
54%
387
450
Lakeshore
55%
343
365
Sunnyside
56%
350
368
Stevenson
57%
397
459
Ortega
59%
369
413
Fairmount
60%
326
331
Yick Wo
60%
376
432
Ulloa
63%
398
442
Parks
65%
340
356
McCoppin
66%
347
385
Sutro
69%
370
410
SF Community
70%
333
341
Flynn
72%
324
325
Buena Vista K8
72%
316
354
Revere
76%
349
386
Carmichael/FEC
77%
351
381
Monroe
78%
347
376
Garfield
78%
364
428
Webster
78%
346
321
Longfellow
80%
353
387



    

3 comments:

  1. A couple of points -

    First, if you take a look at STAR participation by grade (STAR is only tabulated by grade unlike API), low performing schools have significantly lower numbers of test takers, which is to say the actual scores would be even worse than the posted grade level scores. This is because those student who don't take the test are almost always among the lowest performers. Conversely, schools with the highest scores have close to full participation.

    The second point has to to with higher performing students doing worse at lower performing schools. It is not difficult to understand that schools which have to teach to large numbers of low performing students will have a more difficult time delivering the higher level instruction to those students that require it. As a result, these students are unlikely to test as well as their counterparts at other schools which can deliver that advanced instruction.

    Simply put, if a teacher cannot make it through all the curriculum, test results are likely to suffer.

    Students who struggle academically work at a slower pace. That's just the way it is and differentiated teaching can only go so far when large majorities of student are below and far below basic.

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  2. Interesting data!
    Thanks for crunching the numbers.

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  3. "Economically disadvantaged" is a very broad category, especially in SFUSD, so I would not draw too many generalizations from this chart. You really have to know something about a school. My kids at a school where the economically disadvantaged kids are mostly from nearby public housing and many are in some very tough family circumstances. They are facing very different challenges compared to Chinese immigrant kids on the west side, who also are often economically disadvantaged. So the numbers are useful, but you have to be careful, too.

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