Public Schools in MA – Student Demographics and Maps

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Introduction

On the same theme on education, I decided to dig further. I found a great dataset concerning education in Massachusetts on Kaggle1, which was aggregated and sourced directly from the Massachusetts Department of Education’s statewide reports2. The data is sorted into the various public schools in Mass, and each of them have a value/score for the individual factors.

Some of the factors/measurements on the report that stood out to me were:

  • % of students by race
  • % dropped out
  • % economically disadvantaged
  • (again), average SAT scores for the various subjects
  • class size
  • % attending college
  • MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) data
  • average expidentures per pupil

These allow us to compare the correlations between one factor and another, and these interesting patterns and observations that are derived might give us insight into the public school system (at least in Massachusetts).


This is the first of a series exploring this dataset. This post will mainly focus on the various student demographics through maps of Massachusetts.

First of all, here is a map of all the public schools in Massachusetts (colors indicate how many students are enrolled in that school on average):


Here are the same maps, except color coded by the racial makeup of the student body:


Commentary

Here are some of my observations:

  • The distribution of schools with the most amount of students seem to be evenly distributed. There are these schools everywhere serving the various different regions. Although there does appear to be a lot of schools serving greater Boston. We expect this due to the populations there.
  • The map displaying % White Students and % African American Students are almost polar negatives of each other. Where there are less white students, there are more African American students. Does this re-enforce the fact that many schools are still very ‘segregated’, per se? Or does this merely reflect upon the fact of racially segregated geographic communities throughout Mass?
  • Groups of Asian students don’t coincide with the African American students, although in regions of greater Asian students we do expect less white students.
  • Hispanic students coincide with the African American students and mostly the Asian students combined. This reemphasizes a theory that generally schools will have students who are mostly white, or mostly minorities.
  • Native American and Native Hawaiian students are spread throughout, there are certain schools with higher populations of them but this does not reflect any general trend.

(A continuation of an analysis of this dataset is found here)

  1. Massachusetts Public Schools Data
  2. Massachusetts Department of Education State Reports
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