I would like to remind you that Michelle Rhee’s and Richard Whitmire’s claims that she single-handedly boosted the NAEP scores in DCPS, way in excess of anything that happened previously, are bogus.
Michelle Rhee and Richard Whitmire aren’t left with very much to brag about concerning her supposed accomplishments in DCPS.
- The ‘Capital Gains’ project was a total failure – even according to the data provided by Harvard professor/entrepreneur Roland Fryer (who has also run a massive randomized experiment in NYC showing that paying teachers money for higher student test scores was counterproductive)
- Bringing in an outside agency to run Dunbar SHS was a total failure
- The situation with the least-trained, least-experienced teachers staffing most of the roughest, lowest-income schools in DCPS is worse now than ever
- The situation with special education is the usual mess
- There are more central-office employees than ever, and they make more money than ever
- It’s clear that the enormous sums she spent on consultants haven’t done a damned thing
- The teachers are totally demoralized
- Real teaching has been replaced by 100% test-prep, all the time
- The method that her favorite principals employed to raise test scores involved simple cheating: long hours of meticulous erasing of wrong answers, after the students and teachers had left the buildings
So let’s look at a few graphs of how NAEP scores have changed over the past 20 or so years, so you can see for yourself whether the 3 years of Rhee made much of a difference.
First, please look at a graph of the average 4th grade DCPS ‘Scale Scores’ on the Math NAEP:
Next, look at a graph showing the percentage of students “Basic” or above (which really does mean ON GRADE LEVEL) and “Proficient” or above (which really does mean ABOVE GRADE LEVEL) in math since about 1992. Again, you can see that these percentages have been pretty steadily rising since about 1996. Once again, SuperWoman’s presence apparently didn’t make a huge change.
Next, let’s look at the average scale score for DCPS 8th graders on the NAEP reading test:
Here the record doesn’t go back as far, but besides the drop in 2003 and 2005, the overall trend has been upwards.
I’ll post a few more graphs tomorrow. Right now, I am too tired to keep going.