Show-Me Center

White Flight? Let's look at those test scores

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch printed an interesting article on white flight affecting the Hazelwood School District. The Libertarian-styled think-tank Show-Me Center's education blogger, Sarah Brodsky, responded that maybe people were leaving the district because of state test scores.

❝The whites may be moving to districts that do better than Hazelwood on the state tests.❞

So I looked up the state test scores. Most of the population shift has been to St. Charles, so that was my comparison.

St. Charles
Comm 49.4 met 2 of 7 targets
Math 49.4 met 2 of 7 targets
Graduation rate 81.3

Comm 34 met 2 of 8 targets
Math 30.2 met 4 of 9 targets
Graduation rate 83.9
District improvement level 1

Hazelwood West
Comm. 43.2
Math 33.9

While people in St. Louis are a bit jaded on the whole AYP since even the wealthy districts can't meet all their targets, neither of these districts have numbers to brag about. (Although in fairness, they could also be much worse.) Yes, St. Charles has higher scores than Hazelwood, but I don't see that they justify mass movement. If you look at Hazelwood West's scores, the focus school of the article, they are closer especially in reading. I suspect other factors are in play.