In Education, Poverty Is The Un-Equalizer

My methodology was to research the 10 wealthiest communities in California based on per capita income. They were:

Belvedere, Marin County113,595
Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego County113,132
Atherton, San Mateo County112,408
Rolling Hills, Los Angeles County111,031
Woodside, San Mateo County104,667
Portola Valley, San Mateo County99,621
Newport Coast, Orange County98,770
Hillsborough, San Mateo County98,643
Diablo, Contra Costa County95,419
Fairbanks Ranch, San Diego County94,150

Figures from Census, 2000

Using the greatschools.net website, I located all the public schools located within the attendance boundaries of these areas, and double checked their free and reduced price population, a national measure of economic status, to verify that they did indeed serve an affluent population.

Finding: there was not a single, failing, public school located in the wealthiest communities. In fact, the wealthiest communities produced schools with the highest possible score, a 10, in the GreatSchools rating system. [emphasis mine]

The charts below show the scores on a scale of 1-10, with 10 representing the highest academic achievement score, of the public schools located in these affluent areas.

From Martha Infante, History Teacher in Los Angeles, Former Teacher of the Year

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