Views of Education Divided by Class

Thinking Arizona illustration by Tony Bustos
Thinking Arizona illustration by Tony Bustos

Different approaches to education have revealed themselves anew with the governor’s bid to tie increases in funding to school performance.

The measure will reward the rich and penalize the poor, says an ASU professor who maintains that school performance tracks with poverty levels.

Not so, the governor fires back.

But Thinking Arizona found that the performance of 1,462 schools – every school for which all the necessary data was available – unmistakably correlates with socio-economic circumstances.

Rather than denying these differences exist, we can best improve our shaky education performance by calling attention to them. That should begin by revising the school grading system. Then we would do well to study the experience of one particular elementary school in Phoenix.

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