Major Failure of “Capital Gains” Program

The ‘Capital Gains’ program has failed.

When will its major backers – Michelle Rhee, Roland Fryer, and some billionaires – admit it?

Last year, there was nearly no difference in the changes in performance of the ‘experimental’ and ‘control’ groups in the ‘Capital Gains’ program. But this year, the second full year of the program,  the ‘treatment’ group – the schools where students received payments for doing various things – saw their scores drop significantly, whereas the ‘control’ group of schools saw their scores rise by a similar amount.

Here are the graphs and tables I prepared. First, reading:

As you can see, from 2009 to 2010, the fraction of students in all of the control group schools who scored ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’ on the DC-CAS in reading, ROSE by a little over five percentage points. That’s the blue line, the middle column above. However, in the experimental group of schools, the fraction of students who ‘passed’ the DC-CAS FELL by about four percentage points. That’s the red line, the last column in the table.

How about math?

In this graph and table, you can  the fraction of students passing the DC-CAS in math ROSE by about four and a half percentage points from 2009 to 2010. But in the treatment group, where students were paid to do the right thing, the percentage of students passing the DC-CAS in math FELL by over two percentage points.


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. where did you get these numbers – from Fryer? I haven’t seen them published anywhere.


    • No, I worked them up myself by getting the OSSE NCLB site to display all the data for all of the schools individually and then by grades. Then combining all the numbers together and such. A considerable amount of work, to be sure.


  2. Thank you for doing it. can’t wait to see Fryer’s analysis.

    Hope you send him yours.


    • He is much too busy and important either to answer or return phone calls or even emails. One has to go through his underlings.


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