It did not go well.
My kid was assigned to golf, lacrosse and track & field. Golf and lacrosse, and the 180 degree ocean views should be a tip off that this is not your typical California neighborhood public school.
I asked her how it went. Did she meet anyone interesting? Did she like any of the sports?
She said that the kids from the other school spent all day talking about how the kids at her school are so "ghetto".
"OMG, did they really say that?", I asked.
"Over and over, although one girl said that wasn't entirely true because 'some of them are white'."
I talked to one of the school staff that chaperoned the event to ask if she heard anything similar. She replied that she heard even worse.
Kids from the other school came up to kids from our school and said, "We have iPads and you don't."
The chaperone mentioned another thing. The kids from our school also observed that the other school must not have a dress code; the skimpy attire on some students from the wealthier school would get a student sent home at their school.
Readers from outside the US may not be aware that poorer kids are held to different standards than rich kids. Poor kids are more likely to live under strict rules of conduct at school such as dress and speech codes. Kids at the wealthier middle school in our district are entrusted with school lockers while kids at the poorer middle school are not allowed to have them for fear that they might keep contraband articles in them. (iPads, perhaps?)
If you go by average test scores, the wealthier school would appear to be a superior choice. But, if you stratify by parental educational attainment--a proxy for class--you can see that their is no statistically significant difference in test scores for children of people with graduate educations. However, test scores don't tell you about other things kids learn from school.
- ESRI zip code income data for the wealthier school
- ESRI zip code income data for the poorer school (note that the dark green wealthy area at the southwestern corner of this zip code feeds into the wealthier middle school)
- Zoom out to see the sharp drop off in income as you move east from the coast. It's an informative complement to my hometown analysis.
Aside:Yes, our school is a Title I school; roughly one third of the students are considered "at risk", mainly due to poverty. It is also on Program Improvement status because the English-learner students only improved their standardized test scores by an average of 8 points, missing the state goal of 10 points. They scored well above the state-wide average, but "failed" to improve "enough" to satisfy the state goal for them. (I'll let you decide whether multiple choice tests can adequately assess learning and improvement.)
If there were 10 or fewer students in a category, the sample size is considered too small to be significant. However, the entirely predictably erratic performance of 17 students was considered a statistically robust enough result to brand the school a failure and put it in PI status.
Anyone familiar with analysis of variance (ANOVA) aka "the statistics of small numbers" knows nothing magical happens between sample sizes of 10 and 11. A smaller sample will almost always show more variance than a larger sample.
I think our elected lawmakers should be given standardized tests to assess their critical thinking skills. Their scores should be posted on the internet and also on the ballots.