I commend Cornelius Range on his piece detailing the inequities of the standardized testing system in this country (something which one Penn student group — Let’s Get Ready SAT Tutoring program — tackles every semester at West Philly high schools). However, the inequities in the American education system go far deeper than the SAT.
When a K-12 public education system is based on property tax revenue, the poor will inevitably suffer. In the 2005-06 school year, the per-pupil funding rate of the School District of Philadelphia was $11,078. Meanwhile, Lower Merion School District — less than 10 miles outside of the city — had a per-pupil funding rate of $21,399. To make matters worse, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett recently slashed almost $1 billion from basic education funding in Pennsylvania while inexplicably punishing poorer districts. In this draconian cut, Philadelphia schools lost $533 per student while Lower Merion — along with other wealthier districts — lost less than $20 per student.
Perhaps if K-12 public schools were funded equitably, the income gap in SAT scores and other achievement factors would disappear.
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