Bridgeport Social Issues

Social Ecological Research

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Asthma Related Emergency Room Visits Among children (Rate per 10,000). 
As displayed in this graph, Bridgeport has a higher rate of asthma related emergency room visits as compared to neighboring towns. Childhood asthma is extremely prevalent in low-income urban communities. Although this high rate may not be surprising, it is important to consider the ripple effect of these high rates of asthma. For example, asthma is likely to have implications for schooling (e.g., absences), can impact schools in general, and may contribute to crowded emergency rooms. Asthma also costs the United States $56 billion yearly and the average yearly cost to care for someone with asthma is $1,039. (Center For Disease Control). Community-level responses to environmental risks that trigger asthma may help reduce these rates. Here is a link to asthma from the Center for Disease. 
Control. http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/impacts_nation/asthmafactsheet.pdf

Asthma Related Emergency Room Visits Among children (Rate per 10,000). 

As displayed in this graph, Bridgeport has a higher rate of asthma related emergency room visits as compared to neighboring towns. Childhood asthma is extremely prevalent in low-income urban communities. Although this high rate may not be surprising, it is important to consider the ripple effect of these high rates of asthma. For example, asthma is likely to have implications for schooling (e.g., absences), can impact schools in general, and may contribute to crowded emergency rooms. Asthma also costs the United States $56 billion yearly and the average yearly cost to care for someone with asthma is $1,039. (Center For Disease Control). Community-level responses to environmental risks that trigger asthma may help reduce these rates. Here is a link to asthma from the Center for Disease. 

Control. http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/impacts_nation/asthmafactsheet.pdf

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This graph displays the rate of food stamp cases per 1,000. This is an indicator of the level of economic distress in a community.* As displayed in this figure, the rate of economic distress among Bridgeport residents has increased substantially since 2007. It is important to note that these higher rates have largely been fueled by the economic downturn and expansion of the SNAP benefits program. Nevertheless, this figure indicates that a substantially higher rate of Bridgeport residents are now relying on SNAP benefits.  Between 2007 and 2012 the rate of SNAP recipients per 1,000 increased by 91%.
The level of economic distress is further compounded as utility rates, rental prices, and taxes continue to rise, yet earnings tend to remain flat. Moreover, it is important to note that a substantial proportion of residents may fall above the eligibility threshold for SNAP benefits, but are also experiencing economic distress.   
*Food Stamps are now referred to as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
**Data Source: CTdata.org

This graph displays the rate of food stamp cases per 1,000. This is an indicator of the level of economic distress in a community.* As displayed in this figure, the rate of economic distress among Bridgeport residents has increased substantially since 2007. It is important to note that these higher rates have largely been fueled by the economic downturn and expansion of the SNAP benefits program. Nevertheless, this figure indicates that a substantially higher rate of Bridgeport residents are now relying on SNAP benefits.  Between 2007 and 2012 the rate of SNAP recipients per 1,000 increased by 91%.

The level of economic distress is further compounded as utility rates, rental prices, and taxes continue to rise, yet earnings tend to remain flat. Moreover, it is important to note that a substantial proportion of residents may fall above the eligibility threshold for SNAP benefits, but are also experiencing economic distress.   

*Food Stamps are now referred to as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

**Data Source: CTdata.org

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Bullying reports provide basis for change

The Connecticut Post just released a report of bullying stats. In accordance with PA 11-232 schools are required to investigate alleged acts of bulling within specific time-frames and intervene if the the allegation is verified. According to the CTPost report Bridgeport schools reported 60 bullying incidents this past year.

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Police Officers in Schools

Recently there has been some debate in Bridgeport regarding the use of police officer in schools. Issues such as these are not always clear cut so I provide a sampling of studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals regarding this issue. Below you will see the title of the study in bold and then a summary of the study. There may be a lot to read here, but  if you read toward the end of each summary you will get the conclusion of the study.

This is by no means a review of the scientific literature in this area, but at least you will get a better idea of how to think about this issue as it relates to school children. You will notice some of the nuances to consider. If you have any feedback or questions please feel free to let me know. 

1.       School-police partnership effectiveness in urban schools: An analysis of New York City’s Impact Schools Initiative

Despite nationwide decreases in school crime and violence, a relatively high and increasing number of students report feeling unsafe at school. In response, some school officials are implementing school-police partnerships, especially in urban areas, as an effort to deter criminal activity and violence in schools. This article examines the initial effect of New York City’s Impact Schools Initiative, a punitive-based school-police partnership developed in January 2004 that increases police presence at some of the city’s most dangerous public schools. An initial examination of school-level demographic and environmental variables reveals that, despite increased police presence, students enrolled at New York City’s impact schools continue to experience higher than average problems linked directly to future criminality, including more student suspensions and lower attendance rates than other New York City Schools. The data also reveal that relative to other New York City public schools, impact schools are more crowded and receive less funding.

Brady, K. P., Balmer, S., & Phenix, D. (2007). School-police partnership effectiveness in urban schools: An analysis of New York City’s Impact Schools Initiative. Education and Urban Society, 39(4), 455-478. doi:10.1177/0013124507302396

2.       The role of police in public schools: A comparison of principal and police reports of activities in schools

This paper describes results from a recent study about the role of law enforcement in schools. Using data from a national mail survey of principals and law enforcement administrators, we compare reports of the types of activities in which police are involved. We found agreement that law-enforcement related activities were the most common type of police involvement in schools, but police also report higher levels of overall participation in schools. We conclude with a discussion of possible explanations for these different perceptions and suggestions for future research to better understand the role of law enforcement in school safety.

Coon, J., & Travis, L. (2012). The role of police in public schools: A comparison of principal and police reports of activities in schools. Police Practice & Research: An International Journal, 13(1), 15-30. doi:10.1080/15614263.2011.589570

 3.       Considerations for integrating school resource officers into school mental health models

The present editorial addresses considerations for integrating school resource officers into school mental health models. The aim of the plan is to safeguard U.S. children from the increasing rate of violence taking place in U.S. schools and communities. Resource officers first showed up in urban schools in small numbers in the late 1950s, but in the late 1990s the profession ballooned. Following a succession of school shootings, schools adopted zero tolerance policies and exclusionary discipline practices, and funds were widely available for schools to hire resource officers. When federal funding for resource officers was at its peak, schools with resource officers referred students for conduct offenses to juvenile courts at five times the rate compared with schools without officers, after controlling for school-level poverty. School social workers, psychologists, and counselors need to embrace resource officers and educate them about school-based tiered prevention models. School-based mental health professionals need to be attentive to the fact that resource officers, when hired through collaborations with local law enforcement, are foremost and always police officers. In summary, this is a call for school social workers to thoughtfully engage the oncoming reality that school resource officers will be an element of school service models.      

Thompson, A. M., & Alvarez, M. E. (2013). Considerations for integrating school resource officers into school mental health models. Children & Schools, 35(3), 131-136.

4.       Circumventing the law: Students’ rights in schools with police

Over the past several decades, public schools in the United States have been increasingly transformed into high security environments, complete with surveillance technologies, security forces, and harsh punishments. The school resource officer (SRO) program, which assigns uniformed police officers to work in public schools, is one significant component of this new brand of school security. Although the intentions of the SRO program are clear—to help administrators maintain order in schools, deter students from committing criminal acts, and arrest students who do break the law—the potential unintended consequences of this program are largely unknown. This study employs ethnographic methodology in two public high schools with SROs to examine how students’ rights, including Fourth Amendment rights, Fifth Amendment rights, and privacy rights, are negotiated in public schools with full-time police presence. The results of this study suggest that schools administrators and SROs partner in ways that compromise and reduce the legal rights of students.

Bracy, N. L. (2010). Circumventing the law: Students’ rights in schools with police. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 26(3), 294-315. doi:10.1177/1043986210368645

 5.       Including school resource officers in school-based crisis intervention: Strengthening student support

This article discusses the importance of trained police officers, School Resource Officers (SROs), participating in school-based crisis response efforts. These efforts, mostly preventative in nature, mitigate and de-escalate trauma for students exposed to a wide variety of challenging situations. Scenarios are presented with dialogue between students and SRO, offering insights into how SROs support students’ emotional needs. The article demonstrates how trained SROs’ service complements school-based crisis prevention and intervention efforts.

James, R. K., Logan, J., & Davis, S. A. (2011). Including school resource officers in school-based crisis intervention: Strengthening student support. School Psychology International, 32(2), 210-224. doi:10.1177/0143034311400828

6.       School resource officers and the criminalization of student behavior

As school resource officer (SRO) programs continue to be widely implemented, there is concern that an increasing police presence at schools will “criminalize” student behavior by moving problematic students to the juvenile justice system rather than disciplining them at school. If true, this has serious implications for students and schools; yet research on this topic is limited and the discourse is often based on speculation or anecdotal evidence. To address this issue, this study evaluated the impact of SROs on school-based arrest rates by comparing arrests at thirteen schools with an SRO to fifteen schools without an SRO in the same district. Poisson and negative binomial regression models showed that having an SRO did not predict more total arrests, but did predict more arrests for disorderly conduct. Conversely, having an SRO decreased the arrest rate for assault and weapons charges. Implications of these findings for understanding SROs and their role in criminalizing student behavior are discussed.       

Theriot, M. T. (2009). School resource officers and the criminalization of student behavior. Journal of Criminal Justice, 37(3), 280-287. doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2009.04.008

 7.       Student perceptions of high-security school environments

Public schools have transformed significantly over the past several decades in response to concerns about rising school violence. Today, most public schools are high-security environments employing police officers, security cameras, and metal detectors, as well as strict discipline policies to keep students in line and maintain safe campuses. These changes undoubtedly influence the social climate of schools, yet we know very little about how students experience and perceive these measures. Via ethnographic research in two contemporary public high schools, the author examines students’ perceptions of high-security school environments, including perceptions of their school resource officer, schools’ discipline policies, punishments, and fairness in rule application. Findings show that students believe their schools to be safe places and think many of the security strategies their schools use are unnecessary. Students further express feeling powerless as a result of the manner in which their schools enforce rules and hand down punishments.            

Bracy, N. L. (2011). Student perceptions of high-security school environments. Youth & Society, 43(1), 365-395. doi:10.1177/0044118X10365082

8.       School resource officers for bullying interventions: A mixed-methods analysis

The number of school police officers, School Resource Officers (SROs), is increasing on school campuses to assist in preventing school violence, and in particular bullying. This mixed-methods study was conducted to compare the knowledge and perceptions of SROs (N = 184) hired by independent school districts (ISD SROs) and those contracted from law enforcement agencies (CSROs) about their knowledge and perceptions about bullying interventions. By comparison, ISD SROs were more aware than CSROs about knowledge of school bullying plans, the need for social skills training, enforcing existing school policies regarding bullying intervention strategies, and using more conflict resolution strategies. Additionally, ISD SROs were less likely to use punitive law enforcement strategies than were CSROs.     

Robles-Piña, R. A., & Denham, M. A. (2012). School resource officers for bullying interventions: A mixed-methods analysis. Journal of School Violence, 11(1), 38-55. doi:10.1080/15388220.2011.630311

 9.       A study of zero tolerance policies in schools: A multi‐integrated systems approach to improve outcomes for adolescents

Problem: School officials throughout the United States have adopted zero tolerance policies to address student discipline, resulting in an increase in out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. The introduction of police on school campuses also increased the referral of students to the juvenile courts. Although school personnel generally view zero tolerance policies as a constructive measure, this approach denies recent research on adolescent brain development that mischief is a foreseeable derivative of adolescence. Methods: A case study method examined one juvenile court’s innovative multi-integrated systems approach related to the adverse trends associated with zero tolerance policies. Findings: A multi-disciplinary protocol resulted in more effective youth assessments that reduced out-of-school suspensions and school referrals; increased graduation rates by 20%; and decreased delinquent felony rates by nearly 50%. The resulting protocol changed how the system responds to disruptive students by significantly reducing out-of-school suspensions and school referrals, and putting into place alternatives as well as providing community resources to address the underlying causes of the behavior. Conclusions: A multi-systems approach that targets the reasons for disruptive behavior improves student educational and behavioral outcomes.  

Teske, S. C. (2011). A study of zero tolerance policies in schools: A multi‐integrated systems approach to improve outcomes for adolescents. Journal of Child And Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 24(2), 88-97. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6171.2011.00273.x

10.   The Social Construction of Local School Violence Threats by the News Media and Professional Organizations

The research presented here examines the social construction of local school violence threats in the context of national claims-making aboutschool violence, particularly school shootings. In light of the news media glare surrounding other school shootings, school and policeofficials in Burlington, Wisconsin assessed the threat posed by five high-school youth who allegedly plotted to carry out a school attack in November 1998. Social constructionist scholarship has shown that claims made about a problem and the way it is framed in the news media and other informational contexts shape an audience’s perception of a social problem’s seriousness, prevalence, setting, and causes. But as William Gamson and others have pointed out, “readers” are not passive recipients of media messages; rather, they actively interact with those messages to construct meaning. This research project involved two components: (1) content analysis of the print media (in two periods 1992-1993 and 1997-1998) and law enforcement and school administrator publications and conference materials; and (2) in-depth, semistructured interviews with 13 respondents, including the 11 Burlington school and police officials who assessed and acted on this case. In this paper, I examine how the (Racine) Journal Times and professional organizations constructed (and reconstructed) school violence and how local decision-makers interpreted their own school violence threat in the context of the news media’s and professional organizations’ constructions.            

Herda-Rapp, A. (2003). The Social Construction of Local School Violence Threats by the News Media and Professional Organizations. Sociological Inquiry, 73(4), 545-574. doi:10.1111/1475-682X.00071

11.   The ‘worst of both worlds’: School security and the disappearing fourth amendment rights of students.

This article examines two related themes: the increasingly restrictive security measures in public schools and the reluctance of the courts to protect the basic Fourth Amendment rights of students. Information from academic and journalistic sources is presented regarding the impact on students from greater police presence and restrictive school security measures, including the potential harm to the learning environment. Additionally, this article reviews recent state appellate court decisions empowering police to search students using the less protective guidelines of reasonable suspicion and the “special needs” doctrine. This article also evaluates the recent United States Supreme Court decision that permits schools to conduct suspicionless drug testing of students as a condition of participating in any extracurricular activities. The results of these disciplinary policies and search tactics can be described as the “worst of both worlds,” with severe penalties for even minor student misconduct without the safeguards of the Fourth Amendment.

Beger, R. R. (2003). The ‘worst of both worlds’: School security and the disappearing fourth amendment rights of students. Criminal Justice Review, 28(2), 336-354. doi:10.1177/073401680302800208

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This map displays the total number of individuals (in ranges) who self-identified as Asian in the American Community Survey.  As evidenced in this map, numerically, Bridgeport’s West Side/End, and Bridgeport’s South End neighborhoods have the highest Asian concentration. It is noteworthy that there appears to be considerable fluctuation across adjacent neighborhoods in regards to the concentration of individuals who identify as Asian. For example, while Bridgeport’s Little Asia neighborhood (Census Tract 712) contains 467 Asians, Census Tract 709, which is adjacent, only contains between 0-31 Asians.
The City of Bridgeport has tried to promote and brand the Little Asia neighborhood, and it appears that these data support this strategy. One of the main reasons this has been an area of focus is not only due to the number of Asians, but also because there are a series of adjacent Asian stores and restaurants in this area. Thus, this serves as a logical focal point to market. However, in marketing this area, it can be helpful to consider some of the social capital within other Census Tracts. For example, Census Tracts 721, 725, and 725, which are located north of Bridgeport’s Little Asia, also have a high number of Asians. These Census Tracts also have more financial capital and may serve as worthwhile areas to target considering these neighborhoods have more disposable income. Thus, marketing Little Asia across these neighborhoods may be helpful as it can help draw the Asian community within these areas as well individuals with more disposable income because Bridgeport’s North End consists of households with higher median income. It is also important to consider Census Tract 704 (Bridgeport’s South End).  Stronger marketing of Little Asia to this neighborhood may be particularly beneficial because this is where the University of Bridgeport is located. Although this area may have less disposable income, relative to Bridgeport’s Northern neighborhoods, this area contains many Asian students. Not only this, but if South End Asian students are drawn to Little Asia they are likely to bring with them their social networks considering that students are more likely to live and engage in social activities in peer groups.  These peer networks may  be particularly helpful in promoting Little Asia to non-Asian students because such peer networks are often very diverse, doing so may help brand Little Asia as an Asian attraction that draws diverse groups.
Lastly, as future Little Asia festivals are considered it may be important  to hold this event while universities are still in session (e.g., Fall or Spring) so as leverage Asian students in the South End (and their peers). In addition, it may be worth considering to have a shuttle from census tract 704 to census tract 712 (and possibly other neighborhoods), which in this case, a logical shuttle option would be a UB’s.

Please share your ideas on how to promote Bridgeport’s Little Asia community. Please submit thoughtful comments only (even if simply based on experience) as I would like to use this as a venue for local crowd sourcing. 

This map displays the total number of individuals (in ranges) who self-identified as Asian in the American Community Survey.  As evidenced in this map, numerically, Bridgeport’s West Side/End, and Bridgeport’s South End neighborhoods have the highest Asian concentration. It is noteworthy that there appears to be considerable fluctuation across adjacent neighborhoods in regards to the concentration of individuals who identify as Asian. For example, while Bridgeport’s Little Asia neighborhood (Census Tract 712) contains 467 Asians, Census Tract 709, which is adjacent, only contains between 0-31 Asians.

The City of Bridgeport has tried to promote and brand the Little Asia neighborhood, and it appears that these data support this strategy. One of the main reasons this has been an area of focus is not only due to the number of Asians, but also because there are a series of adjacent Asian stores and restaurants in this area. Thus, this serves as a logical focal point to market. However, in marketing this area, it can be helpful to consider some of the social capital within other Census Tracts. For example, Census Tracts 721, 725, and 725, which are located north of Bridgeport’s Little Asia, also have a high number of Asians. These Census Tracts also have more financial capital and may serve as worthwhile areas to target considering these neighborhoods have more disposable income. Thus, marketing Little Asia across these neighborhoods may be helpful as it can help draw the Asian community within these areas as well individuals with more disposable income because Bridgeport’s North End consists of households with higher median income. It is also important to consider Census Tract 704 (Bridgeport’s South End).  Stronger marketing of Little Asia to this neighborhood may be particularly beneficial because this is where the University of Bridgeport is located. Although this area may have less disposable income, relative to Bridgeport’s Northern neighborhoods, this area contains many Asian students. Not only this, but if South End Asian students are drawn to Little Asia they are likely to bring with them their social networks considering that students are more likely to live and engage in social activities in peer groups.  These peer networks may  be particularly helpful in promoting Little Asia to non-Asian students because such peer networks are often very diverse, doing so may help brand Little Asia as an Asian attraction that draws diverse groups.

Lastly, as future Little Asia festivals are considered it may be important  to hold this event while universities are still in session (e.g., Fall or Spring) so as leverage Asian students in the South End (and their peers). In addition, it may be worth considering to have a shuttle from census tract 704 to census tract 712 (and possibly other neighborhoods), which in this case, a logical shuttle option would be a UB’s.

Please share your ideas on how to promote Bridgeport’s Little Asia community. Please submit thoughtful comments only (even if simply based on experience) as I would like to use this as a venue for local crowd sourcing. 

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This map displays the percent of individuals who do not have medical insurance coverage across Bridgeport neighborhoods (Census Tracts). While comparisons are often generated that compare cities/towns, neighborhood-level data are rarely examined. Although the percent of individuals without health insurance in Bridgeport is high relative to other municipalities, there is considerable variation in health coverage across communities. For example, census tracts 730 and 731 (upper right-hand corner) have a low percent of individuals without coverage (6-10%). In contrast, other neighborhoods range from approximately 28-36%. Interestingly, it does not appear to be Bridgeport’s most commonly distressed neighborhoods that have the highest proportion of individuals lacking health coverage. For instance, Bridgeport’s East Side and East End (e.g., census tracts 735-740, 743) are very distressed neighborhoods according to other social indicators (e.g., poverty). However, these are not the neighborhoods with the highest proportion of individuals lacking coverage. One possibility is that these areas may be well serviced by Bridgeport’s community health clinics. For example, census tracts 736 and 703 appear to be the same areas that have community health clinics, whereas surrounding census tracts have less health coverage. Despite these possibilities some caution is necessary. For example, the variation between abutting census tracts may still fall within the margin of error of census estimates. In addition, it is likely that variation exists even within census tracts, and a more robust alternative may be a spatial analysis consisting of x/y coordinates which can display if health insurance coverage is higher around community clinics and if the concentration diminishes in accordance with distance.

Nevertheless it remains safe to conclude that the areas with the highest concentrations of people lacking health insurance are the neighborhoods in the West Side and the Hollow. There may be several reasons for the lack of coverage in these areas. One possibility may be a high concentration of immigrants. For example, Bridgeport’s Hollow neighborhood is known as a Brazilian and Mexican enclave. Another possibility may be that individuals in these areas may fall just above health coverage eligibility thresholds. It is also possible that these areas may not be serviced as much by community clinics. Despite these possibilities, it remains difficult to arrive at a causal conclusion (nor should we based on spatial data), but the spatial analysis is compelling enough to suggest that more health care coverage outreach in these neighborhoods may be warranted. 

This map displays the percent of individuals who do not have medical insurance coverage across Bridgeport neighborhoods (Census Tracts). While comparisons are often generated that compare cities/towns, neighborhood-level data are rarely examined. Although the percent of individuals without health insurance in Bridgeport is high relative to other municipalities, there is considerable variation in health coverage across communities. For example, census tracts 730 and 731 (upper right-hand corner) have a low percent of individuals without coverage (6-10%). In contrast, other neighborhoods range from approximately 28-36%. Interestingly, it does not appear to be Bridgeport’s most commonly distressed neighborhoods that have the highest proportion of individuals lacking health coverage. For instance, Bridgeport’s East Side and East End (e.g., census tracts 735-740, 743) are very distressed neighborhoods according to other social indicators (e.g., poverty). However, these are not the neighborhoods with the highest proportion of individuals lacking coverage. One possibility is that these areas may be well serviced by Bridgeport’s community health clinics. For example, census tracts 736 and 703 appear to be the same areas that have community health clinics, whereas surrounding census tracts have less health coverage. Despite these possibilities some caution is necessary. For example, the variation between abutting census tracts may still fall within the margin of error of census estimates. In addition, it is likely that variation exists even within census tracts, and a more robust alternative may be a spatial analysis consisting of x/y coordinates which can display if health insurance coverage is higher around community clinics and if the concentration diminishes in accordance with distance.

Nevertheless it remains safe to conclude that the areas with the highest concentrations of people lacking health insurance are the neighborhoods in the West Side and the Hollow. There may be several reasons for the lack of coverage in these areas. One possibility may be a high concentration of immigrants. For example, Bridgeport’s Hollow neighborhood is known as a Brazilian and Mexican enclave. Another possibility may be that individuals in these areas may fall just above health coverage eligibility thresholds. It is also possible that these areas may not be serviced as much by community clinics. Despite these possibilities, it remains difficult to arrive at a causal conclusion (nor should we based on spatial data), but the spatial analysis is compelling enough to suggest that more health care coverage outreach in these neighborhoods may be warranted. 

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This map displays the percent of individuals with a Bachelors degree or higher across Bridgeport’s neighborhood. As displayed, Bridgeport’s Black Rock, the Down Town/South End neighborhood, and the North West neighborhoods have the highest percentage of individuals with college degrees or higher. Some of these neighborhoods are the same neighborhoods (South End & North West) in which Bridgeport’s universities are located suggesting that these institutions contribute to local social capital (e.g., higher concentration of people with a Bachelor’s degree or higher). . 

This map displays the percent of individuals with a Bachelors degree or higher across Bridgeport’s neighborhood. As displayed, Bridgeport’s Black Rock, the Down Town/South End neighborhood, and the North West neighborhoods have the highest percentage of individuals with college degrees or higher. Some of these neighborhoods are the same neighborhoods (South End & North West) in which Bridgeport’s universities are located suggesting that these institutions contribute to local social capital (e.g., higher concentration of people with a Bachelor’s degree or higher). . 

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In Connecticut, Kindergarten children are given the Kindergarten Entrance Inventory. This inventory assesses six domains – one of which is literacy. Literacy scores are assigned to one of three levels – the lowest of which is PL1 in which the child’s literacy level is considered to be “emerging” and in need of a large degree of instructional support.
We know from numerous research studies that low literacy is linked to a host of negative outcomes including aggression, low academic performance, drop out, arrests, and contact with the justice system to name a few.
This graph shows that a substantial percent of Bridgeport’s Kindergarten students begin school with very low literacy levels. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that although the graph displays this data by school, these students are in grade-K so these low literacy rates do not necessarily signify a school effect. Rather, these children are entering school with very low literacy levels for a myriad of other reasons. This speaks to the utmost critical importance of quality preschool and kindergarten. As they say “an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure”.
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In Connecticut, Kindergarten children are given the Kindergarten Entrance Inventory. This inventory assesses six domains – one of which is literacy. Literacy scores are assigned to one of three levels – the lowest of which is PL1 in which the child’s literacy level is considered to be “emerging” and in need of a large degree of instructional support.

We know from numerous research studies that low literacy is linked to a host of negative outcomes including aggression, low academic performance, drop out, arrests, and contact with the justice system to name a few.

This graph shows that a substantial percent of Bridgeport’s Kindergarten students begin school with very low literacy levels. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that although the graph displays this data by school, these students are in grade-K so these low literacy rates do not necessarily signify a school effect. Rather, these children are entering school with very low literacy levels for a myriad of other reasons. This speaks to the utmost critical importance of quality preschool and kindergarten. As they say “an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure”.

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This graph displays the percent of Bridgeport’s high school graduates who choose to work after graduating high school rather than attending college. In 2005 the percent of high school graduates who worked after graduation peaked at 19.2 percent. Since 2010 there has been a general decline in the percent of students who work after high school. 


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This graph displays the percent of Bridgeport’s high school graduates who choose to work after graduating high school rather than attending college. In 2005 the percent of high school graduates who worked after graduation peaked at 19.2 percent. Since 2010 there has been a general decline in the percent of students who work after high school. 

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Funding for this these type of research.

"I have conducted these analyses, but they tend to be a more difficult (e.g., sample size, cost) to conduct at the neighborhood level."

Andmar, thanks for posting the link to this site on OIB.  Have you tried to get funding from the Bridgeport BOE to conduct your research at the  neighborhood level.  I’m doing my own research in three key areas or issues not covered or addressed here or by the BOE.  I know what you mean, “they tend to be a more difficult (e.g., sample size, cost).

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Central High School has higher SAT verbal scores than the other Bridgeport High Schools. This trend has remained consistent over the years. Bassick High School has had the lowest scores. To place these scores in perspective the average SAT score for the University of Bridgeport is between a 450 and 500 (give or take), and these scores remain significantly lower that that threshold. Any thoughts on how SAT verbal scores can be raised? 

Central High School has higher SAT verbal scores than the other Bridgeport High Schools. This trend has remained consistent over the years. Bassick High School has had the lowest scores. To place these scores in perspective the average SAT score for the University of Bridgeport is between a 450 and 500 (give or take), and these scores remain significantly lower that that threshold. Any thoughts on how SAT verbal scores can be raised? 

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This figure displays the percent of Bridgeport high school seniors, over the past 11 years, who move on to 4-year and 2-year colleges after high school. Here are some observations.
-The percent of students attending 4-year colleges has declined slightly over the past 10 years.
- The percent of graduating seniors attending 4-year colleges has been below 40% since 2003. 
- The gap between students attending 4-year and 2-year colleges has diminished over the past decade.
- More recently, since 2008, when the proportion of students who attend 2-year colleges increases, the percent of students attending 4-year colleges decreases – and vice-versa.
- There has been notable fluctuation in recent years (since 2008) in the percent of students attending 4-year and 2-year colleges. 

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This figure displays the percent of Bridgeport high school seniors, over the past 11 years, who move on to 4-year and 2-year colleges after high school. Here are some observations.

-The percent of students attending 4-year colleges has declined slightly over the past 10 years.

- The percent of graduating seniors attending 4-year colleges has been below 40% since 2003. 

- The gap between students attending 4-year and 2-year colleges has diminished over the past decade.

- More recently, since 2008, when the proportion of students who attend 2-year colleges increases, the percent of students attending 4-year colleges decreases – and vice-versa.

- There has been notable fluctuation in recent years (since 2008) in the percent of students attending 4-year and 2-year colleges. 

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Regression to the Mean

Just a quick point. Sometimes social issues (e.g., crime statistics), social interventions, and social programs (e.g., tutoring, after school programs) may appear to “improve” or “decline” depending on where they started off to begin with.

 

So for example, if a tutoring program is put in place for students that all have failing grades then these students are more likely to show an improvement given that their scores were very low to begin with. The program may erroneously be said to be effective despite the improvements being a function of what is called Regression to the Mean. Conversely, the same tutoring program may be deemed as ineffective if a tier of ‘A’ students are targeted. This is because there is less room for improvement and more room for these students to shift downward toward average scores.

 

This is an important point to consider whether it is reading statistics in the newspaper, or analyzing the results of a social program. As just one example, during the early 1990’s homicide rates in Bridgeport sky-rocketed. Subsequently, they decreased. Was this decrease a function of a new political administration or was this decrease inevitable due to ‘regression to the mean’ - the fact that when scores are at an extreme they will shift in the other direction toward the average.