Jun 23, 2017 06:44 AM EDT
Schools along the Rio Grande River, Texas are known to house poor students. However, poverty does not hinder them from being top academic performers.
According to US News, a new report from GreatSchools and Education Cities said that Brownsville, McAllen, and El Paso are three cities where poor students outperform those from high-income families. Brownsville, for one, has approximately 48,000 students. It also holds one of the highest child poverty rates in the US.
In there, 95 percent of students are deprived while another 33 percent are still learning English. However, the border town boasts an impressive graduation rate of 90 percent. Experts believe that one of the deciding factors here is the hard work of the teachers and principals despite a lot of financial challenges.
While students from low-income families are usually less likely to graduate from high school and college, GreatSchools and Education Cities wanted to find out the areas that are flipping the previous statistic. The organizations created a "first-of-its-kind" database that includes the academic performance of students in 45 states, with 55,000 schools spanning the 2010-2011 through 2014-2015 school years.
The researchers used school-level data on the number of students who qualify for free and reduced-priced lunch, a parameter used to estimate the number of poor students in a school. Meanwhile, results from state proficiency tests and the most recent National Assessments of Educational Progress were also gathered. Eventually, they were able to determine that 500 schools in those cities, or about 4 percent of all schools included in the study, have low-income student performances exceeding the national average of high -income students.
Certainly, poor students in Texas seemed to be capable of being one of the bests. Out of all the areas where poor students perform the best, eight cities of the Top 10 are located in the Lone Star State. For the cities where poor students exceed the performance of their wealthier counterparts, three out of four are located in Texas along the Rio Grande River.
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