2011 Metro Atlanta Elementary School Rankings showed that student academic achievement varied significantly among the Metro Atlanta area’s elementary schools. While there are certainly a variety of factors that impact student performance, one important factor may be the school’s diversity.
Take a look at the attached graph. You can clearly see that schools with higher diversity also have higher academic achivement. As always, we have to remember that correlation does not necessarily reflect a cause and effect relationship. However, the findings certainly give Metro Atlanta’s parents cause to at least consider diversity when enrolling their children.
Dyer Elementary: Successful, Diverse Elementary School
Gwinnett County’s Dyer Elementary School is one of the most diverse elementary schools in the state. The school received a 9/10 diversity ranking. It’s easy to see why when you look at the school’s demographics (attached pie chart).
Not only is it ethnically diverse, the school’s students are also economically diverse. About 41 percent of students are classified as economically disadvantaged, near the state average.
In addition to having a very diverse student body, the school has excellent academics, receiving a 10/10 academics rating, the highest possible. To give you a flavor for what academics look like at a school receiving a 10/10 rating, here are the fifth graders’ math scores last year:
Percent of 5th Graders Meeting Grade Level: 97 percent
Percent of 5th Graders Exceeding Grade Level: 67 percent