Determining the Fairness of School Zones in Oklahoma City: A Report from 2020-2021

Chase Compton, Dr. Bradley Paynter, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Central Oklahoma, 100 N University Drive, Edmond, OK, 73034

The purpose of this project is to research the fairness of OKC public school zones. The aim of my research is to determine if OKCPS zones are drawn fair in relation to race, household income, and population distribution.

In the fall of 2019, OKCPS consolidated and reconfigured schools as a part of their “Pathway to Greatness” (PTG) program. After the schools were consolidated, some community members became upset. Teachers and parents have expressed concerns over the negative effects of PTG. Examples include late buses to school and overcrowded classrooms. An issue of equity regarding fair school zones is present in the OKCPS. Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG) has developed software known as GerryChain, which is used to detect instances of gerrymandering in districts. The group has used their techniques to find instances of Gerrymandering in Virginia. 

The plan for my research process is to create a Geographical Information System dataset for all the school zones in OKC. The next step is to make the data set compatible with GerryChain, which I will modify to work with school zones. The methods developed will help analyze if the current OKCPS zones are fair. Final goal of the research is to develop code for generating new and better proposals of school zone partitions. 

My research will help ensure K-12 students in OKC schools are not being put at a disadvantage. The techniques developed will help judge the fairness of the redrawing of school zones in response to school consolidation and reconfiguration. The research will also provide a basis for other school districts having to grapple with consolidation. I will discuss in a poster presentation my research done so far into OKCPS zones conducted from 2020 to 2021.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Chase Compton

Institution: University of Central Oklahoma

Type: Poster

Subject: Mathematics

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 8
Date/Time: Tue 5:00pm-6:00pm
Session Number: 5572