Public school districts’ graduation rates correspond with the percentage of students that are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, according to new maps from a fair housing nonprofit.
Two maps put together by Community Housing Innovations Inc. show the Yonkers and Mount Vernon school districts and their neighbors, with one map showing the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches and the other noting high school graduation rates.
The districts with larger percentages of free or reduced-price lunches have lower graduation rates. Alexander Roberts, executive director of the group, tabulated the graduation rates based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics for the 2013-14 school year.
Roberts said that suburban segregation has evolved from racial to financial. “It’s not all racial anymore; it’s very much economic,” he said. “And there’s no reason why any family or any ethnic group should be denied.”
The Yonkers and Mount Vernon school districts have 76 percent and 47 percent graduation rates, while their neighbors have starkly higher rates. Hastings-on-Hudson, Ardsley, Eastchester and Bronxville have graduation rates of 97 percent or higher, according to the data, with Edgemont and Scarsdale showing rates of 100 percent and 99 percent, respectively.
Related story: Governor Cuomo, Westchester County and the Face of Inequality
January 5th, 2015 –Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his inauguration speech on January First, made an eloquent plea for reforming our education system,
“Today, we have two education systems, if we want to tell the truth: one for the rich, and one for the poor. And if you happen to be born in the wrong Zip code and go to a failing school, you will get left behind and never catch up. Public education that was the great equalizer in the society has become in some communities the great discriminator.”
If you would like to see what that looks like, read this article in the Westchester County Business Journal.