U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-02-2013, 10:06 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 891,602 times
Reputation: 1107

Advertisements

I came across this long detailed blog post on the tight correlation between socio-economic status and Academic achievement. There are many links here to studies on the subject. I always knew there was some correlation, but it's pretty amazing how tight the correlation is.

The bottom line here is that paying up for a city with schools with high average scores has almost no bearing on the success of your child. I find this interesting in a country where people seem to be sparking bidding wars for homes in these "top schools" towns.

The odd correlation between SES and achievement: why haven’t more critical questions been asked? A call to action | Granted, and...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-02-2013, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,091 posts, read 16,121,723 times
Reputation: 12684
Actually, the data shows the exact opposite of your "bottom line."

Fact: The bottom line is that students going to schools with high median incomes do better than student going to schools with low median income. Insert obligatory correlation causation disclaimer. High SES is correlated to lots of things. High SES school districts have more AP classes and more students taking AP classes, more engage parents, blah blah. Low SES schools have fewer AP classes, more students coming from bad home situations (drug/alcohol abuse, physical abuse, neglect), more gang involvement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2013, 03:32 PM
 
1,211 posts, read 891,602 times
Reputation: 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Actually, the data shows the exact opposite of your "bottom line."

Fact: The bottom line is that students going to schools with high median incomes do better than student going to schools with low median income.
Incorrect, if that were the case this would not be so perplexing. Let me rephrase that for you:

"Students from households with high median incomes do better than students from households with low median income regardless of the SES or performance of the school itself."

A student from a high SES family will score just as well in an average school than in a top school.

Other interesting notes:

"various attempts to study the supposed value added from schools have turned up dispiriting results. I know of one prep school that commissioned an internal study and found there to be NO GAIN over 4 years on measures of critical thinking."

" It doesn’t follow from the data that schools in poor neighborhoods are “bad” and schools in wealthy suburbs are “good”. Indeed, if this were true, all along the SES continuum, then the SES/parental income graph would be far less important and would likely look different: better schools would correlate with better achievement; so, we would just make bad schools more like good schools. But that isn’t what the data or my own career says is true."

"in the most elite schools and colleges, pre-assessment and post-assessment on tests of science misconceptions (such as the FCI in Physics) show remarkably little gain."

"the graphs above are curious if we believe that schooling and teachers make a difference in people’s lives. It is unclear and counter-intuitive why a family making 60,000 dollars per year should produce children with higher SAT performance or state test performance than a family making 50,000 per year."

"some private schools have data to show that incoming SSAT scores perfectly predict SAT scores by the time the kids graduate."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2013, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,043 posts, read 102,757,343 times
Reputation: 33089
^^You've picked enough cherries to make a pie, plus you exceeded your supposedly allowable 3 sentences from a copyrighted article. It's a long article and all those quotes are taken out of context.

What I would like to know is, where did the College Board get the income statistics they post in their data which this joker (Grant Wiggins, not you) posted in his article? Schools do not keep any SES data other than percentage of free and reduced lunch students, and it is not the schools but the Dept. of Agriculture who make that decision. This information is not reported out on individual students. I do not recall the students being asked their family income when my kids took the SATs, and even if they did, that information would be extremely unreliable, as 16-17 yos do not usually know what their family's income is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2013, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,091 posts, read 16,121,723 times
Reputation: 12684
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
Incorrect, if that were the case this would not be so perplexing. Let me rephrase that for you:

"Students from households with high median incomes do better than students from households with low median income regardless of the SES or performance of the school itself."

A student from a high SES family will score just as well in an average school than in a top school.

Other interesting notes:

"various attempts to study the supposed value added from schools have turned up dispiriting results. I know of one prep school that commissioned an internal study and found there to be NO GAIN over 4 years on measures of critical thinking."

" It doesn’t follow from the data that schools in poor neighborhoods are “bad” and schools in wealthy suburbs are “good”. Indeed, if this were true, all along the SES continuum, then the SES/parental income graph would be far less important and would likely look different: better schools would correlate with better achievement; so, we would just make bad schools more like good schools. But that isn’t what the data or my own career says is true."

"in the most elite schools and colleges, pre-assessment and post-assessment on tests of science misconceptions (such as the FCI in Physics) show remarkably little gain."

"the graphs above are curious if we believe that schooling and teachers make a difference in people’s lives. It is unclear and counter-intuitive why a family making 60,000 dollars per year should produce children with higher SAT performance or state test performance than a family making 50,000 per year."

"some private schools have data to show that incoming SSAT scores perfectly predict SAT scores by the time the kids graduate."
But that isn't what your data is saying, now is it?

Your data says quite bluntly -- schools with a high median income have high test scores. Schools with a low median income have low test scores. It says nothing about how a high income student performs in a low income school or how a low income student performs in a high income school. Correlation/causation aside, all it does is say the exact opposite of what your original post said. What the data shows is that buying into an expensive neighborhood may very well be important because school districts with high median income have high test scores and school districts with low median income have low test scores.

I look at data, not conjectures derived from data. I can draw my own conjectures perfectly adequately, and quite frankly the empirical evidence is lacking even for the purposes of the article let alone the contortions you're attempting to read into it because you apparently can't understand the data. It isn't a logical leap from schools don't seem to do much and it's more about the input, which is what the article says, to you a high income student in a low income school will do just as well as a high income student in a high income school, which is what you're inferring. There's absolutely nothing in there to support that conclusion whatsoever one way or the other. It simply is not a point that is addressed.

The data is school-level, not student level. And the data says garbage in, garbage out. Put a non-garbage student into a school full of garbage students and who knows what will happen. It's an interesting question.

For a piece of anecdotal evidence, I can use myself. I went to a garbage-in school, and my SAT scores were quite good. My grades, however, were abysmal. I was completely uninterested my first two years, and the only reason I didn't just drop out my freshman year and take my GED was because of sports/band. I was much more engaged my last two years when AP/Honors classes became available. Now, I'm not an ideal example as I went to magnet schools up until high school and SAT tests are very basic. I actually regressed in high school. My PSAT scores from 9th grade were about 5 percentiles higher than my actual SAT scores. Was that just because I peaked early, or was it because I went to a garbage-in, garbage-out high school? That I don't know. Interesting hypothetical. Had I gone to a better school with less garbage-in students meaning classes were taught to a higher level, what would have happened? Would I still have lost 5% on my SAT scores and gotten a 2.2-2.3 GPA my first two years? Entirely possible. On the other hand, maybe I wouldn't have. Even my last two years I got As in my AP classes and Cs in my bonehead classes. It's not that I grew the hell up, it's just that I was actually interested in the AP classes and did the work. I was still the same immature little sh-- I'd been my first two years.

Last edited by Malloric; 05-03-2013 at 12:03 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2013, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,091 posts, read 16,121,723 times
Reputation: 12684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^You've picked enough cherries to make a pie, plus you exceeded your supposedly allowable 3 sentences from a copyrighted article. It's a long article and all those quotes are taken out of context.

What I would like to know is, where did the College Board get the income statistics they post in their data which this joker (Grant Wiggins, not you) posted in his article? Schools do not keep any SES data other than percentage of free and reduced lunch students, and it is not the schools but the Dept. of Agriculture who make that decision. This information is not reported out on individual students. I do not recall the students being asked their family income when my kids took the SATs, and even if they did, that information would be extremely unreliable, as 16-17 yos do not usually know what their family's income is.
It's not student-level data. It's district level. You just take census data for the area the school district is in and you've got your median income.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2013, 01:19 AM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,867,032 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
Incorrect, if that were the case this would not be so perplexing. Let me rephrase that for you:

"Students from households with high median incomes do better than students from households with low median income regardless of the SES or performance of the school itself."

A student from a high SES family will score just as well in an average school than in a top school.
What would you expect? As household income rises there are more resources in home to bring to bear with educating the kids.

The parents are more likely to be educated themselves, as educational achievement can tie into income.

If the kid needs more time, summer classes it becomes more affordable.

These families have more money to throw at their problems.

An average school does not mean a disfunctional one.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2013, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,043 posts, read 102,757,343 times
Reputation: 33089
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
It's not student-level data. It's district level. You just take census data for the area the school district is in and you've got your median income.
That makes it even LESS specific. How do they (the College Board) come up with this?

I have been pondering this for decades. I was stunned as a teacher by the College Board data for the SATs. That data, then as now, shows that SAT scores go up in perfect tandem with $20,000-dollar family income amounts. Here is the 2012 data:
Family Income Critical Reading Mathematics
0$ – $20,000 433 461
$20,000 – $40,000 463 481
$40,000 – $60,000 485 500
$60,000 – $80,000 499 512
$80,000 – $100,000 511 525
$100,000 – $120,000 523 539
$120,000 – $140,000 527 543
$140,000 – $160,000 534 551
$160,000 – $200,000 540 557
More than $200,000 567 589

You couldn't break my subdivision into $20K increments, let alone my whole school district, which is very diverse. Heck, if I were to bump up to full time work, our household income would increase by that much. If one of our kids were living with us and working, ditto. And I will point out, these numbers have nothing to do in that case with individual students, which is the premise of the OP, that it is family income, not any other factor, that makes all the difference, b/c these numbers do no look at individual family incomes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2013, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,456 posts, read 11,963,283 times
Reputation: 10567
Here's a chart on IQ by profession:



In wealthier school districts, on aggregate, there will be more doctors, lawyers, and professors, and less blue collar workers. IQ is 50% or more heritable - children's IQ closely follows that of their parents. We can debate if it accurately measures true intelligence, but it's highly correlated to school performance, and fairly strongly correlated to adult income (but not adult wealth).

Add to this the pressures of group conformity. E.G., not only on the whole are wealthier children predisposed to be slightly smarter, but since the bulk of them are slightly smarter, the non-smart ones (be they rich or poor) feel some pressure to fit in to the overall peer culture of academic performance.

Thus, there is nothing shocking about the results at all.

In contrast, we should not expect the link between individual income and test scores to be as closely related as district-by-district numbers. It's a subject of debate, but it's generally agreed that there's an IQ level which, after you reach it, it doesn't actually make you any more likely to succeed. Warren Buffet famously said if you have an IQ of 150, you should sell 30 points to someone else, because 120 is all you really need to succeed in business. Thus while one would expect that upper-middle class professionals would tend to be a bit smarter on average than all economic groups below them, the actual wealthy (high-level managers, CEOs, etc), probably aren't, and neither are their kids.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2013, 11:13 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 891,602 times
Reputation: 1107
I agree with eschaton that IQ is a factor, and chirack that a family's financial resources are factors in a student's success. However the points in the linked article still suggests that the school itself is not actually improving the child's scores.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top