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Breaking Down Indiana's Schooling Deserts

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Drew Catt and Mike Shaw, the authors of our latest report "Indiana’s Schooling Deserts," used Geographic Information System software to map Indiana families’ drive times to traditional public, magnet, charter and voucher-participating private schools. This first-of-its-kind mapping allowed us to identify where three kinds of “schooling deserts” exist. Learn more about them in this slide show, which simplifies the complex report.

For more resources related to this research, including our podcast and an interactive mapping tool, visit www.edchoice.org/blog/new-analysis-maps-k-12-schooling-deserts-in-choice-rich-indiana/

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Breaking Down Indiana's Schooling Deserts

  1. 1. INDIANA'S SCHOOLING DESERTS: edchoice.org/INSchoolingDeserts BREAKING DOWN Identifying Hoosier Communities Lacking Highly Rated Schools, Multi-Sector Options
  2. 2. Indiana has arguably the most robust K–12 educational choice environment in the U.S. Vouchers Tax-Credit Scholarships Charter Schools Magnet Schools Inter- & Intra- District Transfers
  3. 3. In theory, that array of options is available to every Hoosier student, and our research found that most students live within 30 minutes of a charter, magnet or voucher-participating private school.
  4. 4. That does not mean all parts of the state have equitable access to options, creating “schooling deserts.”
  5. 5. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) software, we calculated drive times from highly rated schools of any type as well as all charter, magnet and voucher-participating schools to determine the location of schooling deserts across the state.
  6. 6. For the most part, the schooling deserts we identified are in rural areas of the state, and they reflect one or more of these characteristics: • An A-rated desert, where families lack access to A-rated schools; • A choice desert, where families lack access to charter, magnet and voucher-participating private schools • An educational opportunity zone, where students have reasonable access only to a D- or F-rated school of any type
  7. 7. An “educational opportunity zone” describes an area of the state that desperately needs to improve existing options and/or invest in new, highly rated schooling options.
  8. 8. Where do the school ratings in this report come from?
  9. 9. Each year, the Indiana State Board of Education gives all of these types of schools A–F ratings, which are largely based on students’ state standardized test scores. A B D FC
  10. 10. Unlike some states, Indiana can compare schools’ ratings fairly uniformly because most private schools had been administering the state test prior to the implementation of the voucher program in 2011.
  11. 11. Poor ratings have consequences in Indiana.
  12. 12. Private schools may not accept new voucher students when rated “D” or “F” for two or more consecutive years. F Rating F Rating
  13. 13. Public schools risk closure or state takeover for persistently low grades.
  14. 14. For this report, we use these school ratings to determine whether a school is “highly rated” or not, but it is important to understand that their reliance on test scores, subjective weighting and lack of qualitative measures may not accurately reflect schools’ range of educational outcomes.
  15. 15. We know from research on public and private school parents in Indiana that families have different preferences when it comes to choosing and assessing their child’s school. WHY INDIANA PARENTS CHOOSE A Cross-Sector Survey of Parents’ Views in a Robust School Choice Environment Andrew D. Catt Evan Rhinesmith, Ph.D. edchoice.org/WhyINParentsChoose
  16. 16. That is why this report identifies not just communities that lack access to highly rated schools, but also parts of the state that are devoid of educational options.
  17. 17. What did we find?
  18. 18. 90% of Hoosier families are a 15-minute drive or less from an A-rated K–8 school of any type (traditional public, magnet, charter or voucher-participating private) 90% of Hoosier families are a 21-minute drive from an A-rated high school of any type 100% of Indiana students are within 45 minutes of an A-rated school of any grade and any type 15 minute drive 21 minute drive 45 minute drive
  19. 19. That’s the good news, but thousands of Hoosier students fall into schooling deserts.
  20. 20. K–8 SCHOOLING DESERTS: The A-rated K–8 school deserts are found in the warm areas with the red boundaries. An estimated 3,699 K–8 students live within those A-rated deserts. A-Rated Deserts (K–8) An estimated 3,699 primary students live without reasonable access to A-rated grade schools SCHOOLS SERVING AT LEAST ONE GRADE K–8 “A” RATED IN 2016–17 K–8 Voucher (n=121)K–8 Traditional Public (n=352) K–8 Magnet (n=6)K–8 Charter (n=9) 0 50 100 MILES 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 30 32 36 40 44 DRIVETIME(MINUTES)
  21. 21. K–8 SCHOOLING DESERTS: Traditional public and voucher-participating private schools tend to provide more drivable options to K–8 families, especially in rural areas. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120 125 130 135 140 145 150 155 160 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0 All Schools Traditional Public Schools Voucher-Participating Privates Charters MINUTES FROM AN “A” SCHOOL SERVING AT LEAST ONE GRADE K–8 (2016–17) PERCENTOFINDIANA’SK–8POPULATION(AGES5TO14) A-Rated Drive Times by Sector (K–8) Nine out of 10 students live within 15 minutes of an A-rated grade school
  22. 22. K–8 SCHOOLING DESERTS: But when it comes to options of any kind, about 24,810 K–8 students live in a K–8 choice desert, meaning they are 30 minutes or more away from any charter, magnet or voucher-participating private school that might serve them. Choice Deserts (K–8) An estimated 24,810 primary students live without reasonable access to a K–8 school of choice 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 30 32 36 40 44 48 52 55 DRIVETIME(MINUTES) 0 10050 MILES
  23. 23. K–8 SCHOOLING DESERTS: Look at the purple shaded boundaries with the grad caps. These are the attendance zones for D- and F-rated traditional K–8 public schools that happen to overlap with choice deserts, where families’ options are also D- and F-rated. 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 30 32 36 40 44 48 52 55 DRIVETIME(MINUTES) Educational Opportunity Zones (K–8) An estimated 35,860 primary students live without reasonable access from a non-D or F-rated charter, magnet, or voucher-participating high school, and some of these students live within failing district attendance zones 0 10050 MILES SCHOOLS “D” OR “F” RATED IN 2016–17 TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL ATTENDANCE BOUNDARIES 2013–14 K–8 with Attendance Boundary in “Non-Failing” Choice Desert (n=14) Boundaries for Above Schools Opportunity Zone
  24. 24. K–8 SCHOOLING DESERTS: What we call educational opportunity zones are shaded bright pink, meaning K–8 students in those areas have access only to their zoned D- or F-rated traditional public school and poorly rated alternatives (if any) within a 30-mile radius. 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 30 32 36 40 44 48 52 55 DRIVETIME(MINUTES) Educational Opportunity Zones (K–8) An estimated 35,860 primary students live without reasonable access from a non-D or F-rated charter, magnet, or voucher-participating high school, and some of these students live within failing district attendance zones 0 10050 MILES SCHOOLS “D” OR “F” RATED IN 2016–17 TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL ATTENDANCE BOUNDARIES 2013–14 K–8 with Attendance Boundary in “Non-Failing” Choice Desert (n=14) Boundaries for Above Schools Opportunity Zone
  25. 25. K–8 SCHOOLING DESERTS: And we know K–8 students live in these opportunity zones. Disbursement of K–8 Students Overlap of various deserts exists within medium- and low-density areas INDIANA BLOCK GROUPS 2018 DOT-DENSITY THEME = 10 K–8 Students (Age 5 to 14) 0 50 100 MILES Distribution of K–8 Students
  26. 26. Though we can’t say exactly how many students live within these opportunity zones because of data limitations, we do know that about 7,000 K–8 students attend the D- or F-rated schools marked on our map.
  27. 27. HIGH SCHOOL DESERTS: The A-rated high school deserts are found in the warm areas with the red boundaries. An estimated 6,668 high school students live within those deserts. A-Rated Deserts (9–12) An estimated 6,668 secondary students live without access to A-rated high schools SCHOOLS SERVING AT LEAST ONE HIGH SCHOOL GRADE 9–12 “A” RATED IN 2016–17 9–12 Voucher (n=32)9–12 Traditional Public (n=119) 9–12 Charter (n=7) 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 30 32 36 40 44 48 52 55 DRIVETIME(MINUTES) 0 10050 MILES
  28. 28. HIGH SCHOOL DESERTS: Traditional public and voucher-participating private high schools tend to provide more drivable options to high school families, especially in rural areas. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120 125 130 135 140 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0 All Schools Traditional Public Schools Voucher-Participating Privates Charters MINUTES FROM AN “A” SCHOOL SERVING AT LEAST ONE GRADE 9–12 (2016–17) PERCENTOFINDIANA’S9–12POPULATION(AGES15TO19) A-Rated Drive Times by Sector (9–12) Nine out of 10 students live within 21 minutes of an A-rated high school
  29. 29. HIGH SCHOOL DESERTS: But when it comes to options of any kind, about 45,072 high school students live in a high school choice desert. That’s nearly one in 10 students. Choice Deserts (9–12) An estimated 45,072 secondary students live without reasonable access to a high school of choice 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 79 DRIVETIME(MINUTES) 0 10050 MILES
  30. 30. HIGH SCHOOL DESERTS: Look at the purple shaded boundaries with the grad caps. These are the attendance zones for D- and F-rated traditional public high schools that happen to overlap with choice deserts, where families’ options are also D- and F-rated. Educational Opportunity Zones (9–12) An estimated 52,661 secondary students live without reasonable access from a non-D or F-rated charter, magnet, or voucher-participating high school, and some of these students live within failing district attendance zones 0 10050 MILES SCHOOLS “D” OR “F” RATED IN 2016–17 TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL ATTENDANCE BOUNDARIES 2013–14 9–12 with Attendance Boundary in “Non-Failing” Choice Desert (n=4) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 79 DRIVETIME(MINUTES) Boundaries for Above Schools Opportunity Zone
  31. 31. HIGH SCHOOL DESERTS: What we call educational opportunity zones are shaded bright pink, meaning high school students in those areas have access only to their zoned D- or F-rated traditional public school and poorly rated alternatives (if any) within a 30-mile radius. Educational Opportunity Zones (9–12) An estimated 52,661 secondary students live without reasonable access from a non-D or F-rated charter, magnet, or voucher-participating high school, and some of these students live within failing district attendance zones 0 10050 MILES SCHOOLS “D” OR “F” RATED IN 2016–17 TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL ATTENDANCE BOUNDARIES 2013–14 9–12 with Attendance Boundary in “Non-Failing” Choice Desert (n=4) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 79 DRIVETIME(MINUTES) Boundaries for Above Schools Opportunity Zone
  32. 32. HIGH SCHOOL DESERTS: And we know high school students live in these opportunity zones. Disbursement of High Schoolers INDIANA BLOCK GROUPS 2018 DOT-DENSITY THEME = 10 High Schoolers (Age 15 to 19) 0 10050 MILES Overlap of various deserts exists within medium- and low-density areas Distribution of High Schoolers
  33. 33. Though we can’t say exactly how many students live within these opportunity zones because of data limitations, we do know that about 400 high school students attend the D- or F-rated schools marked on our map.
  34. 34. Why are these data important?
  35. 35. These deserts provide opportunities for policymakers, educators and entrepreneurs to invest in high-quality educational options. The improvement of educational options and performance in these communities represent a straightforward way to come closer to equitable educational opportunities across Indiana.
  36. 36. For more details, please download the full report by visiting EDCHOICE.ORG/INSchoolingDeserts Have questions? Contact our research team at research@edchoice.org.

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