Wednesday, September 26, 2012

South Dakota Poverty And ACT Scores

At the Madville Times, Cory gives a quick overview of South Dakota's ACT scores. The most interesting numbers for me come not at the top but at the bottom of the scale.

The bottom four schools are McLaughlin, Dupree, Eagle Butte, and Todd County.

Earlier this year, the Census Department reported that four of the nation's poorest counties were located in South Dakota
Western South Dakota is home to the three counties with the nation’s highest poverty rate, and four of the top 10, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
South Dakota has long had several counties toward the top as Native American reservations have a major presence in -- and in some cases occupy all –- the most destitute counties. The state has never had the top three dating back to at least 2003, when the bureau began distributing the figures in an easily readable electronic format.
The figures, based on 2010 income, show Ziebach County with the highest poverty rate, at 50.1 percent, which is down from 62 percent in 2009. Todd County at 49.1 percent and Shannon County at 47.3 percent are next, with Corson County ranking ninth with 40.9 percent. [emphasis mine
For those who need a quick refresher in South Dakota geography, McLaughlin is in Corson County, Dupree is in Ziebach County, Eagle Butte is technically in Dewey County, but it's so close to Ziebach County that the county line is a distinction without a difference. In fact, Wikipedia places the community in both counties.

I teach the young'uns to say "correlation does not equal causation." In the case of poverty, however, I would like to test the hypothesis by seeing what would happen to ACT scores if poverty in those counties were reduced.

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