.

How's Your School?

Pro Publica analyzes federal data to offer a snapshot of public education opportunities.

How good a job does the State of Georgia do in giving students equal access in public education? Access to advanced placement courses, advanced math courses and gifted programs?

The team at Pro Publica, decided to find out, using information collected by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. Pro Publica is a non-profit, independent news organization that does “investigative journalism in the public interest,” according to their website.

This particular project finds that in many states, there’s a negative correlation between high-poverty public schools and the percentage of students enrolled in more rigorous courses. Many in education call the disparity between richer and poorer districts and access to higher level courses the "opportunity gap," according to Pro Publica.  

In the case of Norcross schools, there does seem to be a correlation between gifted and talented programs and poverty. The larger the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, generally the lower the number of students in school gifted programs--with some exception. 

The findings prove true at local elementary schools. At Beaver Ridge Elementary, 84 percent of students get free or reduced lunch and 3 percent are in a gifted or talented program. At Norcross Elementary, 87 percent get free or reduced lunch and 6 percent are in the gifted or talented program. At Rockbridge Elementary, 95 percent of students get free or reduced lunch and 6 percent are in a gifted or talented program. At Stripling Elementary, 93 percent of students get free or reduced lunch and 4 percent are in the gifted or talented program.

This is compared to nearby schools with relatively lower levels of poverty. At Berkeley Lake Elementary, 49 percent of students get free or reduced lunch and 13 percent are in a gifted or talented program. At Suwanee Elementary 9 percent of students get free or reduced lunch while 19 percent are in a gifted or talented program.

The Pro Publica findings are also somewhat consistent at middle and high schools in the area. At Summerour Middle School, 87 percent of students get free or reduced lunch and 10 percent are in a gifted program. At nearby schools, the numbers are quite different: At Pickneyville Middle School, 49 percent of students get free or reduced lunch and 27 percent are in a gifted or talented program. At Duluth Middle School 49 percent also get the reduced fair, while 23 percent are in a special program.

The study examined different marks of achievement for high schools. At Norcross High 54 percent get free or reduced lunch; 24 percent take one Advanced Placement class or more and 17 percent take an advanced math. Meadowcreek High School defies the odds in many ways: While 82 percent of students get free or reduced lunch 32 percent take an Advanced Placement course and 19 percent take an advanced math course. 

Pro Publica allows you to compare states, districts within states and schools within districts. Take a look.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something