We are looking at the average scale scores for 8th grade black, Hispanic, and white students in DC on the NAEP reading tests over the past two decades. Ten years ago, Washington DC made the transition from a popularly-elected school board to direct mayoral control of the school system. Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson, our first and second Chancellors under the new system, promised some pretty amazing gains if they were given all that power and many millions of dollars from the Walton, Arnold, and Broad foundations, and **I showed that** almost none of their promises worked out.

In the graph above, the vertical, dashed, green line shows when mayoral control was imposed, shortly after the end of school in 2007, so it marks a convenient end-point for school board control and a baseline for measuring the effects of mayoral control.

For 8th grade black students in reading in DC, their average scale scores went from 233 in 1998 to 238 in 2007, under the elected school board, which is a (very small) rise of 5 points in 9 years, or **about 0.6 points per year**. Under mayoral control, their scores went from 238 to 240, which is an even tinier increase of 2 points in 10 years, or **0.2 points per year.**

**Worse, not better.**

For the Hispanic students, scores only increased from 246 to 249 before we had chancellors, or 3 points in 9 years, or about 0.3 points per year. After mayoral control, their scores went DOWN from 249 to 242 in 10 years, or a **decrease of 0.7 points** per year.

**Again, worse, not better: going in the wrong direction entirely.**

For white DC 8th graders, it’s not possible to make the same types of comparisons, because there were not sufficient numbers of white eighth-grade students in DC taking the test during five of the last ten test administrations for the NCES statisticians to give reliable results. However, we do know that in 2005 (pre-mayoral control) white 8th graders in DC scored 301 points. And since the mayors and the chancellors took over direct control of education in DC, not once have white students scored that high.

**Again, worse, not better.**

### Why do we keep doing the same things that keep making things worse?

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My previous posts on this topic:

- https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/comparing-dcs-4th-grade-white-black-and-hispanic-students-in-the-math-naep/
- https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/the-one-area-where-some-dc-students-improved-under-mayoral-control-of-education/
- https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/more-flat-lines-4th-grade-reading-for-hispanic-and-white-students-dc-and-nationwide/
- https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/one-area-with-a-bit-of-improvement-4th-grade-math-for-black-students-on-the-naep/
- https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/was-there-any-progress-in-8th-grade-math-on-the-naep-in-dc-or-elsewhere/
- https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/progress-perhaps-with-8th-grade-white-students-in-dc-on-naep-after-mayoral-control/
- https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/maybe-there-was-progress-with-hispanic-students-in-dc-and-elsewhere/
- https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/just-how-much-success-has-there-been-with-the-reformista-drive-to-improve-scores-over-the-past-20-years/