School Districts where Students Learn Most

New data from researchers at Stanford, based on some 300 million elementary-school test scores across more than 11,000 school districts, reveals the school districts where children are showing the most growth. The results do not follow conventional wisdom.

Districts with high growth are scattered across the country, in contrast with sharp geographic divisions on proficiency that show Northern schools ahead of those in the Deep South. School systems across Arizona and Tennessee that appear to test well below national averages are in fact overperforming in growth. Many predominantly minority districts where third graders start behind have high growth rates. But in New York City, where third graders test at the national average, slow growth puts them at a disadvantage later.

In the Upshot column of the New York Times, authors Emily Badger and Kevin Quealy provide interactive graphics  that allow readers to explore the dataset, tracking how far ahead or behind students are in their local school district in third grade and eighth grade, changes in test scores between third and eighth grade, and growth rates.

The results may surprise you.

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