I’m going to start work any day on a story about the so-called achievement gap that exists between poorer students, who usually (though not always) are racial or ethnic minorities, and students who generally are from of high-income white families.

While there are often specific exceptions, that’s pretty much how it breaks down, according to the data.

Here’s a link to my latest story about test scores and a link to the database our brilliant data researcher/analyst Janet Balicki built where you can look up specific schools.



As Mickey Porter, deputy superintendent of instruction at the Sonoma County Office of Education, told me recently: “In our county, it is divided along socioeconomic lines. It’s not just about English learners.

“It’s easy to say ‘Oh, our test scores are brought down because of people who don’t speak English, but it’s because of the division of resources. Where test scores are lower, they’re in those higher need areas,” she said.

What I’m interested here and now, is feedback. I’d like to hear how you think I should approach this story. Because, frankly, I’m worried that it’s too tried and true and everyone knows what to expect and what it will say. In other words, although it’s an important story, it’s a “boring” story.

Please help make it compelling. Email me (jeremy.hay@pressdemocrat.com). Call me (707-521-5212). Comment here.  I’m looking forward to your input.  And if  you want to meet for coffee, I’m up for that too.

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