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Test scores reflect education inequality in poor areas

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State test scores highlight educational inequality in rural areas with high percentages of poor students. On the 2016-17 AzMERIT test, 39 percent of Arizona students passed the English section of the test. Across the state, students with an economic disadvantage (qualifying for free or reduced lunch) tested nearly 10 percent lower on the AzMERIT test, passing at 28 percent. Homeless students tested almost 20 percent lower than the average; only two out of every 10 homeless students passed the test. As a result, counties with higher percentages of poor students came in further below the statewide average on the test. For example, in La Paz County, where 80 percent of the tested students qualified as disadvantaged, only 22 percent of students passed the exam. Vincent Roscigno, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University who has studied education inequality...

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