Satisfactory Schools : MI School Districts Making the Grade

4th Grade MEAP Math Data 2001


Map Key

Numbers and shading represent the percentage of students in each district scoring at the SATISFACTORY level on the 2001 MEAP Math exam given to 4th graders. All data is from the Michigan Department of Education.

No data was available for districts shaded in white. 


Considering Socioeconomic Factors

I hypothesized that districts yielding low rates of satisfactory tests scores would correlate with areas of lower socioeconomic classes and minority groups. Each of the links below show the data results for the variables I chose to test. Social data is from the 1990 Census.

FEMALE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD WITH CHILD ,    1 dot = 150 persons

RENTERS , 1 dot = 1000

AFRICAN AMERICAN,  1 dot = 200 persons

Using data from census block groups  which are very small (smaller than census tracks) allowed me to generalize the scatterdot density map by school district, a much larger boundary area. I chose the three variables listed above from the available census data. The designation of "renter" was chosen as an indicator of economic status - those in higher SES brackets are more likely to own a home or property. Specific household income data was not available.

The conclusions I reached for each variable are on the website specific to that variable. However, generally, I found my hypothesis to be correct. Districts performing poorly on the MEAP have students facing many social factors not seen as acutely in other districts. Dense clusters of minority groups and lower SES status were more likely to be in districts at low, if not the lowest, achievement levels.

In future study I would like to look at the data for the outliers by testing another hypothesis: That representations of density for each variable, if not in the bottom quartile of achievement, are located in areas bordering low achieving areas. It has also been suggested that I study specific schools within districts to identify achievine schools that could be used as "models" for MEAP success in urban districts.