Affluence does affect performance

I share the frustration of Rodney and Dawn Bryant, who wrote that they find "deplorable" any connection between affluence and SOL scores [August 26: "Excellence, not affluence, the benchmark"].

Unlike them, however, I'm not upset at the Hook for pointing out that there is such a relationship; I'm upset by the fact that such a problem exists at all.

It is a premise of education and sociology that there is a strong positive correlation between socioeconomic status and performance in school, including on standardized testing.

It may not be pleasant to read in the Hook that Clark Elementary students' low SOL scores may be affected by their family's financial affluence, but that doesn't make it any less true. Rather than pretending that the wealthy don't enjoy certain privileges not available to the rest of us, let's use these data to help to ensure that all of our students receive the best education we can provide them.

Waldo Jaquith
Blacksburg

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