The NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment results are out, and you can see in the data where DCPS really “shines”:
We have by far the biggest gap in academic achievement between the “haves” and “have-nots” of any city listed, and far greater than the national gap, or the gap in any other large city.
For example, this table/graph gives the average 4th grade math NAEP score for black students and for white students in all of the listed jurisdictions. I used pink to circled the line for DCPS.
White kids in DCPS are the highest-scoring group anywhere in the country, according to NAEP dat. They scored 272 in 4th grade math in 2011, whatever that means. On the other hand, black DCPS 4th graders only outscored their black counterparts in Cleveland and Milwaukee, and I bet that if I were to ask the statisticians at NAEP, they would probably tell me that there is no statistical difference between the average scores for black students in the three school systems.
As a result, and as I indicated a few paragraphs ago, we in DC have the largest gap: 60 points separate the average scale score in 4th grade math for DC’s white and black kids. The next largest discrepancy is in Atlanta (50).
Similar things hold true for the DCPS gap in average 4th grade math scores of students who are, or are not, eligible for the national school lunch program, which is used as a very approximate way of denoting economic status (i.e., poor or not poor). Here Atlanta edged out DC by 2 points (their gap was 42, our was 40).
But when we get to the White-Hispanic gap, DCPS is right back up there at #1. Our Hispanic students don’t rank at the very bottom — there are about seven school systems where their scores are equally low or lower. But the white kids in DCPS are, again, the highest scoring group tested by NAEP, so our gap in this area is the largest: 49 points. Our nearest ‘competitor’ in size of gap is, again, Atlanta.
My last graph for this post concerns the trends over the past 8 or so year for all youngsters in 4th grade math in DCPS. According to the statisticians at NAEP, the score of 222 is not significantly different from the score of 220 in 2009, which was the last time the NAEP was given before this spring. However, scores on this test were in fact rising fairly briskly, until 2011.
Which is the precisely the year that the educational DEforms of Michelle Rhee, Adrian Fenty, Kaya Henderson, and Mayor Gray really took hold.
Not such a miracle, was it?