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Educational Success Is Largely Determined By Where You Live

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And the 10 poorest school districts, which are more spread around:

1. Barbourville Independent School District, Kentucky

2. Monticello Independent School District, Kentucky

3. North Bolivar School District, Mississippi

4. West Bolivar School District, Mississippi

5. Santa Maria Independent School District, Texas

6. Hayti R-II School District, Missouri

7. New Boston Local School District, Ohio

8. San Perlita Independent School District, Texas

9. Pineville Independent School District, Kentucky

10. Centennial School District R-I, Colorado

Yes, it is all about location, location, location.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, all of the wealthiest school districts spend far more per pupil than the national average. The Darien, Connecicut, public school district spends $15,433 per student per year, more than 50% above the U.S. average of $10,591. The Edgemont, New York, public school spends more than $25,000 per student annually. Barbourville, Kentucky, the poorest school district, spends less than one-third that amount.

There are other factors too: parents who are both working long hours to make ends meet cannot spend as much time with their children as those who have the luxury of a stay-at-home parent; nor can they afford all those extras that are increasingly necessary in this time of budget shortfalls. And the 25% of children in the U.S. who are living in poverty probably don’t get enough to eat, which also hampers their ability to study.

So next time someone starts blaming teachers for all that’s wrong with education, remind them of this report.

In recent years, elected officials and policymaker have declared that there should be “no excuses” for schools with low test scores. The “no excuses” reformers maintain that all children can attain academic proficiency without regard to poverty, disability, or other conditions, and that someone must be held accountable if they do not. That someone is invariably their teachers.

This is clearly false reasoning.

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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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