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Educational Success Is Largely Determined By Where You Live

Educational Success Is Largely Determined By Where You Live
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Earlier this year, Care2′s Kristina Chew wrote about the widening gap between rich and poor students in schools across the U.S. over the past few decades and how, as a result, the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students has grown by 40 percent since the 1960′s.

Now comes a report that demonstrates exactly how this works. If you thought that children receive different educational advantages, depending on where they live, you are absolutely correct.

Wealth Has Outsized Effect On Education

24/7 Wall St. analyzed Census data from 2006 through 2010 for more than 10,000 unified school districts in the United States. (There are over 14,000 in total.) To illustrate the influence wealth and poverty have on educational attainment, 24/7 Wall St. examined the wealthiest and poorest public school districts in the country. Here’s what they found:

Wealth appears to have an outsized effect on education at the local level. Residents that live in wealthy school districts have among the best schools in the nation based on graduation rates, test scores and independent ratings of academic success. Children who attend these schools are more likely to earn a college degree than the national average.


Nearly all of the wealthiest school districts are within a short distance of one of the richest cities in the country. Other than one suburb of Portland, Ore., all of the wealthiest school districts are commuter towns of New York City, located in either Fairfield County, Conn., or Westchester County, N.Y. The poorest districts are rural communities scattered all over the country, from Ohio and Kentucky to Texas and Mississippi.

How does this have an impact on schools?

10 Richest And 10 Poorest School Districts

Here’s the list of the 10 richest school districts; you’ll see that all but one are in the states of New York and Connecticut:

1. Scarsdale Union Free School District, New York

2. Weston School District, Connecticut

3. Riverdale School District, Oregon

4. Chappaqua Central School District, New York

5. Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District, New York

6. Byram Hill Central School District, New York

7. Edgemont Union Free School District, New York

8. New Canaan School District, Connecticut

9. Bronxville Union Free School District, New York

10.Darien School District, Connecticut


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12:46PM PDT on Jun 18, 2012


3:58PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

5:45PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012


10:48AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

I agree with the title of the article. Quite a few people "in the hood" have to focus on learning survival schools/ street smarts: not getting shot or jumped, not giving in to peer pressure to perform illegal activities like making grafitti and helping in carrying out drug deals.

10:44AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

Jonathan Kozel has been saying this for decades. No one seems to care.

10:01AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012


8:40AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

I would like to add that it is also all about Family, Family, Family, not just location, location, location. I have taught in schools with wealthy, poor and middle income families. Though they are the exception, I have seen poor kids accomplish great things, and rich kids achieve little.

8:39AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

So true. My community is very polarized. There is even a special school with extra funds for the *gifted* lol =rich kids.

7:50PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

Wow, what an amazingly ignorant and racist comment.

3:24PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

I suspect those pooh-poohing school funding have never heard of a class being held in a closet, because the school had run out of classrooms -- or of a poor girl waxing enthusiastic about reading The Tale of Two Cities, while at the same time bemoaning having to share a copy that had pages missing, because there weren't enough for all the students. How about a typing class full of old, manual keyboards that are missing keys, and a chemistry class with a single Bunsen burner and no sink?

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