Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Mark Lowry, Claude Pickard, James Taylor

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


The educational quality of Erie County and Buffalo, New York, as represented by school district performance was examined and the relationship between school district performance and the social environment was analyzed. Socioeconomic status, social stability and race were all found to be strongly correlated to school district performance. Within Erie County, Buffalo has the poorest school performance levels while Snyder and Williamsville, two high status suburban districts, have the highest school performance levels. The overall spatial pattern of school district performance based on the PEP test results for 1974 reveal a strong correspondence between school district performance and the social structure of Erie County. The distribution of Regents Scholarship winners within Erie County also straws the strong relationship between social status and school performance. The performance of the Buffalo schools schools a strong relationship to the social structure of the city. The performance of third, sixth and ninth grade pupils on reading and math PEP tests reveals an inner city-periphery contrast in school performance, especially for the elementary schools. The low-achieving schools are located in the inner city, especially the black ghetto, and the high-achieving schools are located on the periphery of the city. Elementary school performance is strongly correlated to income (SES), minority enrollment (race) and the percentage of broken hares (family stability).


African American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Geography | Human Geography | Inequality and Stratification | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology | Spatial Science