School Districts Where Students Are Least Likely to Succeed by State

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Source: Courtesy of Petersburg City Public Schools via Facebook

Virginia: Petersburg City Public Schools
> Location: Petersburg city
> Per student spending: $11,784
> High school graduation rate: 71%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 17.5%

Enrollment in AP courses can be a sign of students’ preparedness to reach college and excel there. The Petersburg City Public Schools district’s AP enrollment rate of 1.5% of high school students is one of the lower rates in both the state and across all districts nationwide. Preschool has been shown to be instrumental in improving development in children from an early age. In the district, just 19.1% of preschool-aged children attend a program, compared to 47.8% of 3- and 4-year olds statewide.

Source: Courtesy of Toppenish School District via Facebook

Washington: Toppenish School District
> Location: Yakima County
> Per student spending: $9,968
> High school graduation rate: 66%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 8.7%

Students in the Toppenish School District in Washington are the least likely to succeed in state. Just two-thirds of high school students graduated on time in 2017, one of the lowest graduation rates in both the state and the country. The comparable high school graduation rate across all U.S. districts with available data was 85%. High enrollment in Advanced Placement courses in a school district can be a sign students there are excelling at their studies. The average national enrollment rate across all school districts with available data is 18.4% of high school students, but in the Toppenish School District, no of students are reported as enrolled in AP classes.

Source: Magnolia677 / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia: McDowell County School District
> Location: McDowell County
> Per student spending: $13,451
> High school graduation rate: 83%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 4.9%

Studies have shown that children who grow up in poverty are more likely to struggle in school and less likely to attend college than their peers from wealthier homes. Across the country, 17.3% of school-aged children live in poverty, but in the McDowell County School District, 42.1% do, one of the highest child poverty rates in the state and the country. Children whose parents have a college education have been shown to be more likely to do better in primary and secondary school and to go on to college themselves. In the district, however, less than 5% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to the state’s 20.2% attainment rate, which is the lowest in the country.

Source: Courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools via Facebook

Wisconsin: Milwaukee School District
> Location: Milwaukee County
> Per student spending: $12,714
> High school graduation rate: 62%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 23.8%

In the Milwaukee School District, the district where students are the least likely to succeed in Wisconsin, just 62% of high school students graduated on time in 2017, one of the lowest graduation rates in both the state and the country. The comparable high school graduation rate across all U.S. districts with available data was 85%. The district also has one of the lowest teacher-to-student ratios of any district in the state and the country as a whole.

Source: Courtesy of Fremont County School District #25

Wyoming: Fremont County School District 25
> Location: Fremont County
> Per student spending: $16,759
> High school graduation rate: 74%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 19.3%

Fewer than three in every four students in the class of 2017 graduated on time in Wyoming’s Fremont County School District 25 — well below the comparable 85% graduation rate nationwide. Students who live below the poverty line often face considerable stress outside of the classroom that can negatively affect their academic performance, and in Fremont, one in every five children live in poverty, a far larger child poverty rate than in nearly every other school district in the state with available data.