Income Effects on Virginia Public School Testing Data

This project creates visualizations to look at the relationship between Virginia Standards of Learning testing data in public schools and economic indicators in the school system. This combination of testing data and eceonomic indicators has not been placed together before for the state of Virginia and show some interesting results depending on the test that is being administered. This project was designed and constructed for the CUNY MSDA - Knowledge and Visual Analytics course as a final project. Two different data sources were used to complete this project. The first is the Virginia Department of Education - Data for Developers and Researchers and is made available through the Virginia Longitudinal Data System. The data in this set contains the data for the Virginia Standards of Learning Test which are given in the subject of Math, Science, History, and English and was split into 60+ files. The second data source is the United States Census Bureau which provided the data on poverty levels and median household income. Links for these data sources and for the python used to construct the final data set can be found in the Data Sources section of this site.

This project is broken into four main sections 1) The Overview, 2) Charts that allow a user to inspect all of the tests that are given by the state of Virginia vs various economic factors and reports the scores as raw scores and percentage pass rates, 3) Map to inspect geographic clusters of high pass scores, and finally 4) Data sources page containing links for data sources and the python code used to compile this project.

There are a few interesting conclusions that we can draw from looking at the data. The first is that there appears to be a relationship between test scores and economic factors. However these are not present on every test. To me this indicates that there may be some confounding factors that also affect these test scores. This is an area that could use further study. Finally we see that there are a number of geographic groupings of the highest test scores. These are predominantly in the wealthier suburbs around major cities in the state. However, there is a very interesting grouping in Southwest Virginia. This is one of the poorer portions of the state and yet they are producing some great test scores. This is an area that needs to be investigated to determine what if anything these counties are doing that is different from the counties around them.