|Daily Yonder map; click on the image to enlarge it. For the interactive version with county data, click here.|
The Stanford University study looked at standardized test scores of the same students in the third and eighth grades. A child who has completed five years of school would ideally advance five grade levels on test scores. The results show that metro and rural schools averaged about the same at raising students' test scores over that five year period. Rich and poor districts had similarly varied results.
Some areas stand out, though: students in much of Central Appalachia, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and rural Illinois performed below average, while students in most rural and metro Tennessee counties performed above average.
Head researcher Sean Reardon "collected some 300 million standardized reading and math test scores from 45 million students in over 11,000 school districts spanning the school years 2008-09 to 2014-15, Bishop reports. "Reardon was able to devise a national standard by comparing state test scores to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a long-running test of students across the United States."