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Comparison of Three Sources of HCPSS FARM Data


Comparison of Three Sources of HCPSS FARM Data

Rick Kohn

As the redistricting takes place, it has been a priority of this campaign to advocate on behalf of families to ensure that students do not pay the price for weak public infrastructure policies.

In a previous piece, this campaign has provided an evaluation of the resulting FARM profile due to redistricting. This evaluation is based on a dataset provided by HCPSS under the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) #2018-004

The dataset contained population and demographic information by polygon number used for analysis of the redistricting proposal described in the Feasibility Study.

Here, the data-set provided by MPIA 2018-004, the AAC Draft report released Aug. 8, 2017, and the FARM number from the HCPSS School System Profile are compared.  

The total number or percentage of students in the FARM program system-wide for the MPIA data-set was calculated, and compared to the total published in the school system profile, as well as the AAC Draft report released Aug. 8, 2017.

The results are shown in Table 1, which indicate that the datasets are inconsistent. 

The results summarized from the provided MPIA dataset were nearly 5 percentage points lower than those for the 2017 system-wide profile.  Furthermore, the percentage FARM students across the district summarized as a weighted mean from the AAC Draft FARM Report (23.6%) was even higher than the school-system profile.  

The reason for the discrepancy among the three datasets is not apparent.

The School Profile was tabulated a year earlier, and it is possible that the reported values are outdated, but such a stark decrease over only one year is not likely.  

Furthermore, the MPIA request was for the data used by the AAC, and therefore both should have been using the same dataset.  Therefore the large difference in the FARM percentage (6.8%) between the summarized MPIA data and the AAC draft report cannot be explained.

We have asked HCPSS to check the dataset and published summaries and issue corrections and corrected datasets if necessary.  We will adjust the demographic analysis we posted previously if new data are provided that are believed to be more accurate.