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Study Finds an Educational Achievement Gap for Low-Income School Districts

Photo of student at desk
Elizabeth Albert

A new study of a new test measuring what a student has learned over the course of a school year shows there’s still a big achievement gap between low-income school districts and wealthier ones. 

Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

Howard Fleeter with the Ohio Education Policy Institute found that school districts with a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students had lower performance results in last year’s annual tests – meaning, wealthier districts had better scores, and poorest districts had worse ones. He says that kind of disparity is nothing new.

But students were taking a brand new test and Fleeter says that shows one interesting factor.

“The overall achievement gap finding seems to be independent or impervious the test that’s used and any issues about where the lines are drawn,” said Fleeter.

This was the first and only time Ohio students will take the assessment known as PARCC, which lawmakers voted not to use anymore. 

The study did measure another test which will continue to be used known as AIR– and found similar results in comparing performance and poverty.