Progress (or not) in DC public schools after democracy was discarded

I continue looking at the (lack of) miraculous progress in education in the District of Columbia, my home town, ever since PERAA was passed and the democratically-elected school board was stripped of all of its power.

Today I am comparing the progress of successive cohorts of white, Hispanic, and black students about 11 years afterwards as shown on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, which is given nation-wide to carefully-selected samples of students. In a few months we will have the 2017 NAEP scores available, which I will add on to these graphs. So far, however, I do not see any evidence that the gap between the reading and math scores for 4th or 7th grade students in DC — which is the largest gap of any city or state measured – has been eliminated.

Look for yourself.

As in my previous posts, I drew a vertical red line in the year 2008 (not a NAEP testing year) because that separates the scores obtained under the ancien regime and the scores under PERAA. The NAEP is not given every single year, and in some years, scores were not published for some groups because of statistical reliability issues. I drew in dotted lines in those cases. All my data is taken from the NCES DATA explorer, and you are free to check it yourself.

Here are my graphs for 4th and 8th grade math. Click on them to see an enlarged version. Do you see any evidence of the educational miracle that is often advertised as happening AFTER mayoral control of schools? Me neither.


And here are my graphs for 4th and 8th grade reading:

Again: Do you see any miracle happening after that vertical red line?

You can see my previous posts on this here and here.


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sooo, I wonder what happened to create the big drop and then recovery for Hispanics and whites after 2010. Scores for blacks did not change.


  2. I’ve often told people that the Rhee Miracle was all smoke and mirrors and that the NAEP scores show that if the curve was bent at all it was down.

    A couple interesting plots would be where we would be if the trajectory before Rhee had just continued, and also plot the Slope from the 10 years pre-Rhee, and ten years post.


  3. […] still has the largest black-white standardized test-score gap in the […]


  4. […] Mary Levy, along with Marla Dean, noted that DCPS high school closures in the near future are likely, absent change. Matthew Frumin asked that if, as some claim, education has been such a success under mayoral control (hey there, Post editorial board!), why has DCPS’s enrollment actually declined in the last ten years as a percentage of the total and every subgroup of students not advanced academically in that period? […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: