|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.
FEMALE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD WITH CHILD , 1 dot = 150 persons
RENTERS , 1 dot = 1000
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.