by David Safier
There's a great, reasonably new website in town: Bringing Up Arizona. It's a researched-based site about education headed by Richard Gilman, a former Daily Star reporter and editor who also was a senior vice president at the New York Times and publisher of the Boston Globe.
You can find a number of interesting reports on Bringing Up Arizona, but my favorite part is a series of slides called "Overcoming the Education Divide." In 15 slides, it illustrates the overwhelmingly strong correlation between Arizona's school grades and students' family income. Using the Tucson and Phoenix areas, it shows the "A" schools concentrated in the affluent areas of town and the grades descending from there as family income lowers. Anyone who wants solid data on the subject — maps, scatter graphs and bar charts — that's the place to go.
I did some similar research, though not nearly as thorough, and presented my analysis in a segment of the cable access show I do with Ann-Eve Pedersen, "Education: The Rest of the Story," which is at the top of this post.