Monday, April 02, 2012

The Free vs. Reduced Lunch Achievement Gap

Jonathan Pelto with some CT numbers:

For example, look at the differences in the CMT scores for 4th grade math students in some communities around the state. The following chart contains that percentage of students who are “at goal” broken down by whether they qualify for free school lunch, reduced price school lunch or do not qualify for subsidized lunch at all.

  % of students who qualify for free lunch at goal % of students who qualify for reduced price lunch at goal % of students who don’t qualify for free or subsidized lunch at goal
State of CT 41% 59% 80%
Greenwich 53% 57% 86%
West Hartford 61% 64% 86%
Danbury 58% 62% 77%
Norwalk 50% 66% 78%
Stamford 42% 44% 80%
New Haven 39% 49% 60%
East Hartford 34% 43% 55%
Meriden 41% 53% 59%
West Haven 41% 50% 67%
Middletown 44% 61% 72%

On the whole, the gap between free & reduced is almost as great as between reduced and no subsidy. Based on my recollection of CT geography, wealthier districts seem to have low scores for reduced lunch -- although that may be as much a reflection of the higher local cost of living as anything. Hard to say from 50,000 feet.

Also, in case you were wondering, CT, NJ, NY, MA and RI all have reduced lunch rates between 4.6% and 6.6% (RI is highest).

as far as I know, we don't have public access to data broken down this way in RI.

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