Greenwich, as a model of equality in schools

In a recent article in the New York Times, Adam Davidson the creator of NPR and This American Life’s “Planet Money” podcast and blog, described the economic diversity in Greenwich. While the town is mostly known for it’s remarkable wealth, it also has a sizable population of working class people. Nearly 4 percent live below the federal poverty line. Although it’s a town with expensive housing, the draw for many is the schools. And, Davidson writes, studies have shown that low income students ido better in wealthy schools than in poor ones. He writes about Greenwich High School:

“Around 13 percent of the school’s students receive free or discounted lunches, a commonly used proxy for low income. And more than three-quarters of those students scored at or above proficiency on the most recent statewide 10th-grade performance tests. At nearby Stamford High School, where nearly 70 percent of students are on the lunch program, almost half the students failed to meet proficiency levels.”

Davidson spoke with Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, who says about 10 percent of all students in the country are in districts that have some kind of economic-integration policy.

“The remarkable thing about economic integration, Kahlenberg says, is that it seems to improve outcomes for the poor without diminishing educational attainment among the rich. Christopher Winters, headmaster of Greenwich High School, says that the greater diversity of the population makes for a better educational experience for all students. The low-income population has nearly doubled in the past seven years at Greenwich High, and no parent, he said, has complained.”

You can read Davidson’s full article here. And here’s our earlier coverage of an effort to create a mixed income community in New Haven.

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