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The Reason for Differences in Achievement between Wealthy and Poor School Districts

There is a striking advantage that wealthy private schools and some public schools have over poor and middle class school districts in the country. The past 30 years of research on the predictors of student achievement or behavior on the SAT or state testing programs has indicated that 70% of the variance is the wealth and education of the parents in the neighborhood. The big name colleges hold a conference every year inviting all of the school counselors from the prestigious private schools and wealthy public schools. They let the counselors know inside information about who they are looking for and what to put on a college application. My high school counselors could attend if they had the money to pay to get in, fly there, and stay at a hotel. Of course, most districts do not have that kind of money.

I have worked in both types of districts and schools, wealthy and poor. My favorite example is R. Roger Rowe Elementary in Rancho Sanfa Fe and Bobier Elementary in Vista, California. The average home price in Rancho Sanfa Fe is over 1 million dollars and only 5 students receive free and reduced lunch (probably the children of their servants). Per pupil spending is $15,000 per year.

In contrast, at Bobier Elementary School, the average home price is less than 60 thousand (of course, the majority of students live in the neighboring apartments and mobile homes). At Bobier, 91% of the student population receive free and reduced lunch. Average per pupil spending at Bobier is $5,000 per year.

Which school has test scores over 900? Which district receives special invitations to attend the counselor conferences? and why is this so?

There are lots of advantages that might not include IQ!

Solution Preview

It is quite obvious that the wealthy private schools have test scores over 900, and receive special invitations to attend counselor conferences. One of the primary reasons that this is so is due to the fact that the parents of the children in wealthier private schools can afford to pay for tutors for these children, so that any inadequacies that they may have, can ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes reasons for the achievement gap between wealthy and poor school districts.