Ohio Report Finds "Strong Link" Between Poverty and Lower Test Scores

Sep 22, 2016

Tom Ash, a researcher with The Buckeye Association of School Administrators, says the report is not meant to be used as an excuse for students.
Credit OHIO EDUCATION POLICY INSTITUTE

A report commissioned by three groups representing traditional public schools shows what they call a strong link between student performance and household income. In other words, kids in wealthy districts do better on tests on average than kids in poor districts do. 

The report from the Ohio Education Policy Institute includes graphs that slant straight down – as the number of economically disadvantaged students rises in a district, the average student test score declines.

Tom Ash with the Buckeye Association of School Administrators says pointing out a connection between poverty and student performance isn’t an attempt by schools to shift the blame for low test scores.

“We didn’t do this to try to provide any excuses for anybody. We wanted to see what the relationship was.”

And Ash says this link has has been constant for several years, so this year’s result can’t be pinned solely to higher standards – which was the reason offered by many school districts for the bad grades they got on this year’s report cards.