Sex and the SOL

[Editor's Note: The hits keep coming from my friend, fellow blogger and numerati extraordinaire, John R. Butcher. A former chemistry professor and retired attorney, Butcher has -- for years -- relentlessly tackled and translated the dizzying data and double-speak provided by the Virginia Department of Education and local school districts into a form that even the "math-challenged" masses can understand. Many thanks and much obliged, John. Check out his  blog for more charts and erudite analysis.]

By John R. Butcher
 

The VDOE database is glad to produce the SOL data by sex, as well as by economic disadvantage.

BTW: The database calls it “gender,” not “sex.”  Nobody who took German long enough to know that “das Mädchen” (the maiden) is neuter gender would make that mistake.
Here, to start, are the 2015 reading pass rates for the state, Charles City, Richmond, and three other old, urban jurisdictions.
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Even in that forest of data, it’s clear that the girls outscore the boys.  
As well, the Richmond numbers are low, compared either to the state or to the peer jurisdictions.  But, then, Richmond had the second lowest pass rate in the state.  
The Charles City male/female data look to be  anomalous.  
Taking this one step further, here are the female minus male pass rates by jurisdiction and economic disadvantage.
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Here we see the female outperformance is larger in the economically disadvantaged populations, both statewide and in the urban jurisdictions.  
Something is different in Charles City.  I couldn’t guess what.
Finally, here are the not economically disadvantaged less economically disadvantaged pass rates by sex. 
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The effect of economic disadvantage is smaller in Charles City and Richmond, consistent with my speculation (here and in an unpublished communication) that Charles City and Richmond may have been overclassifying kids as “economically disadvantaged” to increase their Title I funding.  
Consistent with the anomalous numbers above, Charles City reverses the usual difference by sex.
Here are the analogous graphs showing the math data.
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These data are generally consistent with the reading results, except that the Charles City anomaly on the female minus male scores is larger.
Categories Lost in a Maze of NumbersLousy Schools