If you base your entire reputation on the promise of increasing standardized test scores, then you should suffer the consequences if your policies don’t work as advertised.
That is what is going on in DC.
The following graph and table, which shows that under the educational “Rheeform” regime of today, DCPS third-graders are scoring worse and worse.
(I can only go back four years because OSSE does not provide any records that I can get at that break down the scores by grade level. You can have a jolly good time searching through the data for yourself, if you like. Here is the link to the OSSE-DCPS-NCLB website.)
Notice in the table that the most recent dates are at the top. Thus, in reading, about 41% of all 3rd graders in DCPS are ‘passing’ the reading portion of the DC-CAS. However, two years ago, that rate was 49%, and the year before that it was 48%. Thus, the fraction of the 3rd grade classes this year ‘successful’ at reading, as shown by the One And Only, All-Exalted, DC-CAS, whose word and numbers have such power over adults (but don’t really matter all that much to the students, frankly), has dropped by 7 or 8 percentage points, which is in my opinion, considerable amount. And it went down a bit from last year, even as Rhee, Henderson, Kamras have been firing and demoralizing hundreds of teachers by making them teach to this stupid test.
And in math (which I used to teach, though not in the 3rd grade), the decline has been even worse: by 12 percentage points, from 49% ‘passing’ to 37% ‘passing’ today.
And may I add, the current type of Deformed Education, which desires to turn it into a militarized, regimented, test prep factory for working-class and minority kids, appears to bore the HECK out of the kids, in the process. It teaches them very little that is really useful, and seems to stifle their sense of joy, wonder, and exploration. Kids don’t really get up in the morning all buzzed that they are going to take a tests. The only people who have a real stake in these tests are the adults. It is possible to keep order while giving students stupid worksheets based on flawed data in the DC-BAS, DIBELS, and so on, but is that teaching?
I have lots more graphs to come, but it’s too late at night already, and each graph takes me a lot of work.
I’m going in order by grade level, and will see if you can figure out, eventually, what went on in the 10th grade. I’ll deal with the charter schools in similar detail as well, and with the various ethnic/racial/national categories, too.