Poverty Line Looks Just Like ‘Education Divide’

June 30, 2013

Thinking Arizona graphic by Tony BustosAmong the pictures of education is a snapshot of poverty. And darned if the two don’t look alike.

“The Condition of Education: 2013” includes a map showing which states exceed the national average for school-age children living in poverty.

Arizona is one of those. We are the fourth worst of all the states.  More than one-quarter of our children are poverty-stricken. That’s five percentage points above the national average of just over 20 percent.

Unfortunately there’s a bimodal distribution to the poverty numbers. On one end are white and Asian students. Thirteen percent of them live in poverty. On the other end are black, Hispanic and Native American students. More than a third of them live in poverty.

And poverty matters in education.  The map shows the 14 states with the highest incidences of poverty stretching in a band across the southern tier of the U.S. from California to North Carolina.

As such they pretty much mirror what this website has been calling the Education Divide.  The states south of the divide not only are poorer, they all under-achieve on the math and reading tests for 4th and 8th graders that are the core of the National Assessment of Education Progress.

– RG

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