Scatterplots, jQuery, and Class Size

A couple of days ago, Nathan at FlowingData posted a parallel coordinates plot showing a relationship between student-to-teacher ratio and mean SAT scores. In the comments, a lot of people said that they would have rather seen scatterplots, and also mentioned that the percent of students taking the test could also have been a factor (due to selecting the higher-performing students to take the test). Like the weather, a lot of people complained about it, but no one did anything about it.

Since the data was readily available from the National Center for Education Statistics, I thought I’d download it and just make some quick scatterplots. Of course, this also seemed like a good opportunity to play around with flot, a really neat javascript library for generating plots and graphs.

The end result is here. I think it’s quite decent.

Before you say anything, I agree: it would be better if it had reference lines for the US average for X and Y axes, a color scale to indicate color values, and used something other than HTML tables for layout. If you cry out for them, I will add them.

Update 11/17/2009: I added a color scale and reference lines for the US Average, in order to have a little better showing in the Flowing Data competition. I’m still showing my poor layout skills, though.

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