International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Environmental Ascription in Worcester County, MA: Toxic Pollution and Education Outcomes

Document Type

Article

Abstract

As a replication and extension of two previous studies [Pastor, M. Jr., Sadd, J., and Morello-Frosch, R., 2004. Reading, writing and toxics: children's health, academic performance, and environmental justice in Los Angeles. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 22 (2), 271-290, Lucier, C., et al., 2011. Toxic pollution and school performance scores: environmental ascription in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Organization & Environment, 24 (4), 421-441], the current study seeks to expand on the growing literature linking environmental inequality and disparities in educational outcomes among vulnerable populations by identifying the environmental determinants of variation in school performance in Worcester County, Massachusetts. Our findings show that schools rating lower in school performance were more likely to be located in more polluted areas, and that these schools had higher percentages of low-income and minority students. Our newly introduced, more targeted measure of toxicity is significant in all three equations in the present study. It is important to note that these significant impacts are found in a county that has much lower levels of overall pollution than in the sites studied previously. That is, the effect of toxins is significant even where pollution levels are modest. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Publication Title

Local Environment

Publication Date

2-28-2014

Volume

19

Issue

3

First Page

283

Last Page

299

ISSN

1354-9839

DOI

10.1080/13549839.2013.788485

Keywords

ascription, class, environmental inequality, race, school performance, toxics

Disciplines

Education | Environmental Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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