Muscogee County School District Ranks 89th In Georgia; Correlates With Rising Crime & Poverty
With just 37% of Columbus students reading at grade level and only 32% proficient in math, science says we shouldn’t be surprised when our crime and poverty rates continue to soar.
The boundaries of the Muscogee County School District with recent statistical ratings for some of its schools displayed inside. The MCSD was recently ranked at a lowly 89th place among school districts in the state of Georgia by Niche, a renowned educational data aggregator.
Image Credit:
Muscogee Muckraker

Residents may voice their opinions about the performance of the Muscogee County School District by contacting their city council members.

The Muscogee County School District (MCSD) was recently ranked at a lowly 89th place out of the 181 total school districts in the state of Georgia.

The low ranking serves as a statistical predictor of continued crime and poverty increases within the Fountain City.

The city’s statewide ranking for K-12 education was recently published in the “2023 Best School Districts in Georgia” list. The report is produced annually by Niche, a renowned educational data aggregator that visualizes official statistics from the U.S. Department of Education.

Niche assessed and scored a wide variety of factors for every school district in the state, using the same methodology for each district. The factors expanded far beyond academic output, providing an accurate comparison of each school district’s operations and amenities as well. 

Here’s how the Muscogee County School District stacked up when compared to the rest of the state:

Academics: C+ 

Teachers: C

Diversity: A

College Prep: B

Clubs & Activities: A

Administration: B+

Sports: A

Food: B

Resources & Facilities: B+

While the MCSD’s scores reveal more than adequate social opportunities for students, its academic output lags far behind. After all, it is a school district, not a social club; academic output is the quantifiable metric of interest when measuring education — not its diversity, clubs, sports, or food quality. 

The concerningly-low academic ranking also comes after the opening of the new Odis Spencer Stadium, which cost $27.6 million to build. 

In addition to the summarized letter-grades for each category, detailed statistics are linked throughout the Niche report. Many of those statistics shed light on what is holding MCSD back academically. They also serve to paint a broad-stroked picture of the city’s future poverty and crime rates for years to come.

Reading proficiency among students in MCSD is an abysmal 37%, meaning fewer than 4-in-10 students are able to score at or above proficiency levels on their state reading/language arts assessment test. The national average is 51%, leaving Columbus students grotesquely behind the rest of the country. 

Mathematics proficiency in Columbus schools is even worse, with only 32% of students — barely 3-in-10 — able to score at or above proficiency levels on their state math assessment test. The national average is 47%, again leaving Columbus students far behind their peers in the necessary math skills needed to excel in college, career, and life in general. 

The city’s high school graduation rate is right on the national average of 86%, forcing many Columbus students to compete against the rest of the country for employment in an ever-shrinking job market without any statistical edge. 

According to decades of scientific understanding, these abysmal academic statistics do not bode well for the criminal future of Columbus. 

Numerous scientific findings have all shown a direct correlation between a population’s educational attainment and its crime rate. As Columbus continues to experience unprecedented levels of shootings and other violent crime in recent years, the reality of an even worse future appears to be in the cards given the city’s currently-lacking educational output. 

One such study published by Lochner and Moretti (2004) at the University of Western Ontario provides some clean-cut insight into how firm the connection between education and crime truly is. 

According to Lochner and Moretti’s work, a one-year increase in a population’s average years of schooling reduces both crime and poverty between 11% and 12% overall. That crime reduction has been measured to include:

  • 30% reduction in murder
  • 30% reduction in assault
  • 20% reduction in motor vehicle theft
  • 13% reduction in arson
  • 6% reduction in burglary and larceny

Other findings published by the Justice Policy Institute have found that increasing the national high school graduation rate of males by just 5% would produce a savings of more than $5 billion (2007, unadj.) in crime-related expenses.

Perhaps the city of Columbus should be spending more time drilling down into the core metrics behind its abysmal educational output instead of erroneously focusing on growing a more prosperous local economy through “tourism.” 

If we want to grow a better garden, perhaps we ought to amend our own soil before it erodes the whole bed away.

Residents may voice their opinions about the performance of the Muscogee County School District by contacting their city council members.

Facts are stubborn things — and we’ll keep publishing them, whether city officials like them or not.


© 2022 Muscogee Muckraker. All rights reserved.

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