Students in school districts where families live closer to poverty are, on average, four grade levels behind their counterparts in the wealthiest school districts of Connecticut, according to a new analysis.
Researchers used data from 2009 to 2012 from the National Assessment of Educational Progress – which includes standardized math and reading tests – to develop a scale.
The scatter plot above shows that the higher the median family income in a school district, the higher the average grade equivalent tends to be.
That trend holds true in Connecticut.
In New Canaan, with a median family income of $210,000, test scores show students are almost three grades ahead of the national average.
On the other end of the spectrum, Hartford’s school district has a median income of $27,000 and students there are about 1.7 grade levels behind the national average.
Salisbury’s school district is an outlier.
Though the town has a median family income of $38,000, sixth grade students there have scored almost two grade levels ahead of the the national average. Salisbury scores at the same level as towns with higher incomes, like Brookfield and Canton.
Update: Thanks to Mark in the comments below, we know that Salisbury’s family median income is incorrect in Stanford’s data, which would explain why it’s an outlier. The family median income is around $76,000 not $38,000 as the chart above indicates.
Explore the other school districts below.