Journalism in the Public Interest

Is Your State Providing Equal Access to Education?

ProPublica analyzed federal education data from the 2009-2010 school year to examine whether states provide high-poverty schools equal access to advanced courses and special programs that researchers say will help them later in life. This is the first nationwide picture of exactly which courses are being taken at which schools and districts across the country. More than three-quarters of all public school children are represented. Read our story and our methodology.

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Petersen Elementary

14404 WATERLOO DR, HOUSTON, TEXAS, 77045 | Grades PreK-6

Districts with 3,000 or more students
Students Total Teachers Inexp. Teachers
This School
District 193K 11,919 18%
State 4.01M 269,017 14%
State Average
District Average

Percentage of relevant students who...

Get Free/Reduced Price Lunch



Are in a Gifted/Talented Program





0% Am Indian

0% Asian

31% Black

69% Hispanic

0% White

Petersen Elementary, part of the Houston ISD, is located in Houston, Texas. The school reports enrolling 685 students in grades pre-kindergarten through six, and it has 41 teachers on staff.

Petersen Elementary is above both the state and district averages for the percentage of students eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch. On average, 48 percent of students in Texas qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, while 74 percent of students at Petersen Elementary do. At the district level, 63 percent of students qualify.

ProPublica's analysis found that all too often, states and schools provide poor students fewer educational programs like Advanced Placement, gifted and talented programs, and advanced math and science classes. Studies have linked participation in these programs with better outcomes later in life. Our analysis uses free and reduced-price lunch to estimate poverty at schools. We based our findings on the most comprehensive data set of access to advanced classes and special programs in U.S. public schools — known as the Civil Rights Data Set— released by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

Petersen Elementary's enrollment rate for gifted and talented is 1 percent.

Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary is a lower-poverty school than Petersen Elementary, with 1 percent of its students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. The school enrolls 7 percent of students in its gifted and talented program. The school is located in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas.

These data points were reported by schools and districts to the Office for Civil Rights. For more information about the data, see our full methodology.

— Generated by Narrative Science