HCDE’s Equity Task Force has released data highlighting the striking link between the number of economically disadvantaged students in a school and those students’ success.

The data paints a dramatic picture.

We already know that students in schools of concentrated poverty face many challenges to success when they don’t receive the supports and resources they need. Seeing just how much that affects student success is sobering.

According to data from our school system, schools where half of the students are economically disadvantaged have a nearly 20% achievement gap in English Language Arts compared to students in schools with far fewer students living in poverty. That achievement gap gets 50% wider when 90% of students come from an economically disadvantaged background.

The achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students in both mathematics and overall ACT score tells a similar story.

The trend is clear – the higher the concentration of students living in poverty, the fewer students are finding success. If access to a quality education is to be the great equalizer that can allow individuals to break the cycle of poverty, we have to do better.