Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Task Force Blames Low Test Scores on Poverty.(Journal North)

Byline: Angela Turner Journal Staff Writer

Students who live in poverty have the hardest time achieving in Santa Fe Public Schools, an equity task force for the district reported Thursday.

"The correlation is very strong," said Associate Superintendent Paula Dean, who leads the task force that studies ways to make the district's schools equitable. "It's also strong among minority students."

Schools that have the most students on the free or reduced lunch program had lower 2001-2002 Terra Nova test scores than schools with few students in the lunch programs.

For example, Agua Fria and Cesar Chavez -- two schools rated probationary by the state during the 2001-2002 school year -- both had more than 80 percent of their students on the free or reduced lunch program. …

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