High Poverty Levels Depress School Performance of All Students—II


Most of the comments on this topic in the preceding section or page—EDvNED 16 Distsalso apply here (for EDvNED All Dists).  However, there are several major improvements to this version.

First, the packaged data includes 775 of Texas’ regular school districts, containing 4,827 elementary and middle schools enrolling 2.9 million students. It was attempted to exclude both magnet schools and disciplinary attendance centers. The data set used in the previous version included elementary and middle schools for just 16 of Texas’ largest school districts. Also, schools with percentages of economically disadvantaged students that exceeded 95 percent were excluded from the previous data set due to difficulties in estimating the Making Grade Level (MGL) rates for non-economically disadvantaged (NED) students.  This more recent data set uses Texas Education Agency data which gives the numbers and percentages of NED students who meet the MGL standard for each grade level and for each subject.  Those data were aggregated to obtain the MGL_NED percentages for all grades and subjects in each elementary and middle school in the state.

Second, due to the large number of districts represented in this new data set, a feature was added to permit the on-line user to create lists of districts that may be of particular interest, and to save and be able to recall those lists from the user’s local storage on the device being used. In addition, subsets of school districts can still be selected by county, using a drop-down list of county names.

Third, the single graph that was used to superimpose the test results for ED and NED students in each school can be presented as two different graphs.  In this mode, additional graphs can be substituted for the initially-presented graphs.

Fourth, one of the new graphs available plots the differences in the MGL_NED – MGL_ED scores for each school.  Thus, districts with many schools with unusually high differences in test results between ED and NED students in the same schools can be quickly identified.

As in previous versions of this software, when a single school is identified several data elements are displayed beneath the graphs, color-coded to correspond to the school.  And if the user has chosen the aggregate mode, data for all schools within an enclosing rectangle are presented in an appropriate form, such as totals, averages, or weighted averages.

Additional features are still available, which the user can become aware of by reading the instructions [Instructions] or supplemental instructions [Supl. Instr.] after clicking on the associated link at the bottom of the screen.