• Project Title: How the Other Half Learns: An Analysis of Educational Outcomes Across the Virginia Urban/Rural Divide

  • BASIS Advisor: Erin Vander Wall

  • Internship Location: BASIS Independent McLean

Educational outcomes vary substantially by jurisdiction across Virginia, potentially reinforcing racial, socioeconomic, and geographical disparities in Virginia and undermining efforts to ensure equal opportunity. While geographic or locational factors impacting educational outcomes may be studied less frequently than racial or economic ones, if they exist they pose a major challenge to efforts to ensure equity in educational opportunity. Using seventh-grade math and reading Standard of Learning (SOL) results as an indicator of educational outcomes, I will use regression analysis to examine the impact of race, the economic well being of the county in question, and the location of school districts (i.e. urban, suburban, or rural). The goal of this project is to determine whether school districts are impacted by their location in the same way they are impacted by other variables such as race and wealth. This project seeks to fill a gap relating to the role of geography as it impacts educational outcomes. My hope is that this project may be useful to Virginia lawmakers and legislators, as the analysis that this study will produce may aid in the creation and implementation of policy aimed at promoting greater equity in Virginia education.