Source: Jefferson County Public Schools
When a child enters school not ready for kindergarten, they are less successful throughout school, are more likely not to complete high school, and they have lower lifetime earnings than their peers who enter kindergarten ready for school. Increasing kindergarten readiness will likely decrease the achievement gap we see between kids living in poverty and their more affluent peers. Kindergarten readiness by school is strongly negatively correlated with the percentage of students receiving free lunch. While data are not available for individual students on family income and school readiness, we found that the higher the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch (a proxy for the average household income of students), the lower the rate of entering kindergartners who are kindergarten ready.
Source: Kentucky Department of Education
Low birth weight has been linked with poor school performance. Poverty and teen pregnancy are risk factors for having a low birth weight baby. Low birth weight is the most commonly used measure among researchers for health at birth. There is a strong link between education and health, but researchers are not able to fully understand the relationship. Higher levels of education are predictive of better overall health. More education is associated with better jobs, which in turn provide higher income and benefits, which afford workers better access to safer neighborhoods, a more nutritious diet, and more access to healthy activities and health care. The inverse may also be true, however: Better health in early childhood (including mental health) may predict better academic outcomes. Louisville ranks 12th in overall health outcomes among our peer cities.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings
In JCPS, while White and Asian students have higher graduation rates than Latino and Black/African American students, the difference is not large. The differences in college readiness by ethnicity, however, are troubling. We see that there is a significant gap between White and Asian students as compared to their Black and Latino peers.
Note, because about 88% of JCPS high school students are either White or Black/African American, differences between these groups make for the most robust comparisons, and our discussion will focus on these two ethnic groups.
Source: Jefferson County Public Schools, Data Management, Planning, and Program Evaluation
Some may explain these differences by racial segregation in high schools. However, even when we look at individual high schools, the racial differences remain.
Source: Kentucky Department of Education, http://applications.education.ky.gov/SRC/AssessmentByDistrict.aspx
In 2013, White students in 4th and 8th grades scored considerably higher on NAEP reading and math scores than did Black students.
Differences in academic achievement are observed among JCPS elementary and middle school students. For example, 78% of White and 46% of Black/African American 4th graders in JCPS scored at least Basic on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) exam. (Basic means “partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work.” The other rankings are Proficient and Advanced.) This means that more than half (54%) of Black/African American students scored below Basic.
Source: National Student Clearinghouse
Source: 2013 ACS, 1-year estimates
The percent of Louisville’s working age population with a Bachelor’s degree ranges from less than 10% to over 80%.
Source: Louisville Metro Center for Health Equity 2014: Louisville Metro Health Equity Report: The Social Determinants of Health in Louisville Metro Neighborhoods
Source: 2013 ACS 3-year estimates
Jefferson County Public Schools; Jefferson County Public Schools, Data Management, Planning, and Program Evaluation. Available at http://www.jefferson.k12.ky.us/Departments/AcctResPlan/databook/index.html; National Student Clearinghouse; 2013 ACS, 1-year estimates; 2013 ACS, PUMS 1-year estimates ; JCPS Data Management and Research; US Census Bureau, 2013 ACS 5-year estimates; Kentucky Department of Education. Available at http://openhouse.education.ky.gov/Data; 55,000 Degrees; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings