Geography of Achievement (or Not)

On average, economically disadvantaged (“ED”) students pass the SOL tests at a rate about 20% lower than their more affluent peers (“Not ED”). Thus, the SOL averages punish the divisions with larger populations of ED students by averaging in larger numbers of lower scores.

To avoid that, we can look separately at the ED and Not ED pass rates.

To get a picture of the geography of the pass rates, I’ve turned to Excel’s “filled map” feature. To start, here is that map of the division average reading pass rates of Not ED students.

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The orange county is Halifax, which was hit by the VDOE data suppression rule. The orange dot is Williamsburg, which the program does not include in the reported “Williamsburg-James City County.”

Here is the same map for the ED reading pass rates.

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The colors make an interesting point: Compared to their peers, not ED students score well ‘most everywhere; ED students, only in a few places, even though compared only to other ED students.  Then, there’s that interesting collection of high scores in SW Virginia for both groups.

The math data paint a rosier picture.

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Richmond, of course, is that large, magenta blob sandwiched between two greener (but for the ED students, not very green) counties.