The data clearly show that no modern-day educational miracle happened there in 1994-5.
First, a table showing the number of students, percent of students at the school for whom there are scores, a likely approximation of the total number in the cohort, reading and math NCE scores, and those scores expressed as percentiles, for the cohorts where Rhee taught at Harlem Park in 1992-1995.
In case you don’t remember, Rhee taught third grade at Harlem Park Elementary (HPE) in 1992-3, and has described that year as a failure. The next year (1993-4), she says she team-taught with another second-grade teacher and then brought that entire double class of students up into the third grade in 1994-5, which is the year that Rhee claimed that the entire group went from the 13th percentile to OVER the 90th percentile.
I certainly don’t know exactly how many students Rhee had in her class, or how many her team-teaching colleague had in hers. It appears that Rhee has conveniently lost all of her records. However, the Tesseract schools in Baltimore appear to have had class sizes around 25 students (give or take a few). On the other hand, Rhee has claimed that she and her colleague took a group of seventy (yes, 70) students from the bottom to the top. As usual, that doesn’t sound too likely, either. I got my estimates by dividing the number in the grade cohort by the percentage of students with scores. They are only estimates.
Recall this: the students for whom there is no data fell into four groups (I garbled this earlier):
(1) students who didn’t show up during testing week;
(2) students who enrolled after February 1 of the testing year;
(3) students who had such severe education disabilities that they were excused from testing; and
(4) those who put their heads down during the test and didn’t write anything meaningful at all.
BY DEFINITION those groups of kids are not going to be the ones that Michelle Rhee has been bragging about. Obviously!
But one thing is clear: whether she and her colleague had 50 students or 70 students, there is no way that they brought those classes from the 13th percentile in 1993-4 to above the 90th percentile in 1994-5, either in math or in reading.
Now, let’s look at the scores ONLY for students who remained at the school for two years or more (which is precisely the group with which MR claims that huge success):
Again: no sign of bringing large numbers of students from the 13th to the 90th percentiles.