Education






Racial and ethnic disparities are apparent in educational data for Westchester County through the entire continuum – from reading in 3rd grade to post-secondary achievement.

Early literacy skills develop at different rates among young children, and all can be part of a healthy growth pattern. But by 3rd grade, students who haven’t mastered the basics and aren’t reading on grade level are at risk of falling behind and having serious trouble catching up. In Westchester County, passing rates on the state’s English Language Arts assessment were far lower for Hispanic and African American students (both at 43%) than for Asian and white students (83% and 75%, respectively). These figures are the latest reliable; due to the coronavirus pandemic, they date to 2019.

The disparities were less severe in high school graduation rates, with 81% of African American and 86% of Hispanic students graduating on time in comparison to 97% of Asian and 96% of white students in the Class of 2021 in Westchester County. Since 2009, graduation rates among Hispanic and African American students have improved by 19 and 17 points respectively, more than the other groups.

A variety of factors contribute to disparities in test scores and other measures of student achievement, including school systems that are highly segregated with different mixes of socioeconomic classes and levels of resources. Students of color disproportionately attend schools with high proportions of low-income students who may not have benefited from early learning opportunities at the same rate as other students. Access to resources such as qualified/experienced teachers, advanced courses, facilities and technology is often lower in schools with large Black and Latino populations. In addition, teachers across all school systems tend to be disproportionately white, and teaching practices and curriculum may not be culturally relevant to students of color.    

At the college level, institutions of higher education in Westchester County admitted a lower share of African American applicants (70%) compared to 85% of white applicants, 83% of Hispanic applicants, and 82% of Asian applicants in 2020. Enrollment rates were also lower among students of color – with 9% of Asian, 13% of African American, 15% of Hispanic and 16% of white students admitted to Westchester County institutions of higher education enrolling in those institutions in 2020.

It is no surprise, given all the figures cited above, that the proportion of adults in Westchester County with a bachelor’s degree or higher was highest among Asian (72%) and white (57%) people and far lower among African American (35%) and Hispanic (24%) residents in 2016-20.

The systemic barriers facing students of color provide them with less access to core college preparatory classes, and contributes to them faring worse on standardized admissions tests. Also contributing are lower levels of wealth in families of color and legacy admissions that privilege students with parents or other relatives who attended certain colleges. When Black and Latino students enter higher education institutions, they are less likely to attain a college a degree given weaker academic preparation and financial hardship.





INDICATORS TREND | WESTCHESTER
Early Prenatal Care, by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels 0
Maintaining
Children Receiving Subsidized Child Care -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth, Ages 16 to 19 -1
Decreasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single Female-Headed Households 0
Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income 0
Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate 1
Increasing
Voter Participation Rate 1
Increasing
Serious Crimes -1
Decreasing
Victims of Domestic Violence -1
Decreasing
Arrest Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households With Internet Access, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households without Vehicles -1
Decreasing
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Air Quality 1
Increasing
Population Density 0
Maintaining
Water Quality of the Long Island Sound 1
Increasing
Open Space in Westchester County 1
Increasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Population, by Age -1
Decreasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
People 65 or Older Living Alone 1
Increasing
Change in Total Jobs -1
Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Seniors Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Seniors Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Food Insecurity -1
Decreasing
Households Receiving SNAP, by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Public Assistance 0
Maintaining
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Rent Burdened Households -1
Decreasing
Homelessness, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness, by Sex 10 Not Applicable*
Per-Student Spending 0
Maintaining
Student Suspensions -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
College Enrollment Rate, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Mortality Rate from Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Diabetes Mortality, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Suicide Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*


Loading...