Rhee’s Failures in DC, the Continuing Saga: 2012 DC-CAS

Part Eleven of Many

Today we have four more failures to reach promised goals by Michelle Rhee and her acolyte Kaya Henderson. This time they are goals set for the 2012 DC-CAS in math and reading at the elementary and secondary levels.

Once again, not a single target was reached, as you can see in this little table:

promised + actual percent prof + adv 2012 dc cas rdg math elem sec

For elementary math, the promise was that 63.0% of the students in DCPS would be ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’ on the 2012 DC-CAS. In fact, only 45.9% reached that level. In secondary math, the target was 54.6% but the result was only 48.0%.

In reading, the promise was that at the elementary level, 63.8% of the students would be ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’; however, the actual rate was only 44.2%. At the secondary level, the prediction was that 55.6% would be ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’, but only 44.2% of the secondary students in DCPS reached that level.

So here is the score so far: out of 50 measured targets, exactly one and one-half of the goals were reached (and I was being generous on that one-half). That is a score of 3%.


failure rate out of 50

Can someone explain to me why Kaya Henderson still has a job, and why the foundations who funded this wild reformy scheme back in 2009-2010 didn’t ask for their money back?


Sources and methods:

I worked with an OSSE spreadsheet containing all the scores for all of the charter and regular public schools in DC by grade. I took out just the regular DC public schools and sorted them by grade levels. I counted every tested student in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 as ‘elementary’, and every student in grades 7, 8 and 10 as ‘secondary’, and added up how many were ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’ at each level, and divided that by the total number of students tested at that level. Thank goodness for electronic spreadsheets! They do all the number crunching for you! You can find the original spreadsheet for 2012 DC-CAS scores here, (it’s the fourth listing) and the original letters containing the promises here.


The saga so far:

  1.  https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/did-any-of-michelle-rhees-promises-actually-work-in-dc/
  2. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/more-on-michelle-rhees-promises-concerning-dcps/
  3. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/what-rhee-promised-to-the-billionaires-walton-gates-et-al-but-didnt-deliver/
  4. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/two-more-promises-by-rhee-et-al-were-they-kept/
  5. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/ten-more-promises-from-rhee-henderson-company-were-any-of-them-kept/
  6. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/33-6-for-nearly-all-values-of-3-not-5/
  7. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/5281/
  8. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/more-failures-to-deliver-on-promises-by-michelle-rhee-and-her-acolytes/
  9. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/another-day-another-bunch-of-failures-from-rhee-henderson/
  10. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/even-more-missed-targets-dc-cas-proficiency-in-2010-and-2011/
  11. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/rhees-failures-in-dc-the-continuing-saga-2012-dc-cas/  (this one)
  12. https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/the-long-list-of-failures-by-rhee-and-henderson-continued/


Once again, let me credit my colleague Erich Martel for coming up with the idea of going back to the original promises and seeing if they were kept or not, and sharing his findings with me. These calculations are generally my own, so if you find any mistakes, don’t blame him. Blame me.

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18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It’s very unfortunate that the district is not meeting its projections as quickly as hoped. But it seems disingenuous to ignore upward trends, with significant progress in math and reading since 2007. At the current trajectory, goals will be met. The trends certainly convey progress versus “failure.” http://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/osse/publication/attachments/OSSE%20Presentation%202013%20DC%20CAS%20Results%20%28Statewide%29.pdf


    • Greg, your narrative itself is disingenuous in ignoring the fact that those upwards trends in both reading and math have been going on in DC for about 20 years on the NAEP and were also present on the SAT-9, until the SAT-9 was discarded in favor of the DC-CAS. Let me emphasize that: upwards trends in achievement among DCPS students were going on long before Michelle Rhee was anointed chancellor in 2007.
      She promised a whole bunch of miraculous gains on the DC-CAS from 2007-2013 in exchange for $64.5 million to fund her wacky evaluation schemes and to fund bonuses that we now know were often won by cheating. None of those fraudulent bonuses have been clawed back. Almost none of the promised goals were met. Thousands of veteran teachers and hundreds of principals have been fired, retired, or left under pressure or because of burnout, and the staff churn seems to accelerate, while the head of DCPS says she has no idea how to run middle schools, and that she herself is unqualified to run a school district.
      Where is the accountability for those in charge?


      • I think in addition to the fact that things were improving here in DC before Rhee, largely due to the hard work of teachers and staff she fired in droves and community activists she shut out. She and Fenty took credit for finally fixing our school buildings, when that was voted in before Fenty was elected. It is also important that when you control for gentrification by looking at performance by subgroup there has been almost no improvement in these vaunted test scores.


  2. […] blogger G.F. Brandenburg has gone into significantly more detail about Rhee’s overreach on his blog. Brandenburg, a […]


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