Now a Quiz on the Baltimore Rhee CTBS Math Miracle

You have another quiz, this time to see if you can deduce what school Michelle Rhee performed her Baltimore CTBS mathematics miracle in. As I have pointed out in previous posts, Rhee claims that she took her students from the 13th percentile (extremely low) to above the 90th percentile (you can’t go higher than 99th percentile) on national standardized tests in “academics” – so that, presumably, includes mathematics.

I randomly chose 5 of the seven Tesseract/EAI/Edison schools, and also five of the eight comparison-group regular public schools. For each school, I converted the NCE scores to percentile ranks for the 2nd grade in years 1992, 1993, and 1994, and for the 3rd grade in 1995. Finally, I again used a random-number generator to scramble up the order of the schools.

So, you have two challenges:

  1. In which of schools J-S did Michelle Rhee work this miracle? (Remember, there were only two third grade sections during her final year teaching, and she was team teaching [perhaps with the other third-grade teacher] so the jump should be extreme!)
  2. Which ones were regular public schools, and which ones were run by the for-profit EAI/Tesseract/Edison corporation? (Five are in one group, and five in the other.)

Here is the data (which I double-checked this time):

Small technical note: you cannot add, subtract, divide, multiply or take averages on percentiles. You can do all of that with NCEs, but NCEs are a lot harder to understand for most people than percentiles are. Rhee gave her results in terms of percentiles, so I am following suit.

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm  Comments (6)  
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Even more on the widening achievement gap!

Some folks have told me they don’t think the evidence so far of a widening of the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is statistically significant or even real.  I will let the readers make up their own mind, but the evidence so far definitely belies the boasting, everything-is-wonderful, I-fixed-DCPS propaganda of Michelle Rhee.

Here are two tables and graphs that show how the gap is widening when you compare students in DC public schools, all big cities, and the entire nation who are at the 25th percentile with those at the 75th percentile, in the 4th grade, and in the 8th grade.

(That is, we compare the scaled NAEP math scores of students who only score better than 1/4 of their peers, with the same scores students who score better than 3/4 of their peers. Students at the 25th percentile are also said to be at the first quartile, and are not very high achievers. Likewise, students at the 75th percentile are also said to be at the third quartile; they are relatively high achievers.)

First, the fourth graders:

As before, the green line is for DC public schools. The gap is not huge here, but we do see that the gap in DC public schools seems to be getting a bit larger over the past few years.

Now, the gap for 8th graders:

Here, the recent increase in the size of the gap for DCPS between the top quartile and bottom quartile is larger than in the 4th grade, and to my unsophisticated mind, appears more significant, especially since the ones for the rest of the country look pretty stable. And it’s sad that DCPS no longer beats the average for other large cities.

In the 8th grade, in Washington, DC public schools, there are simply not enough white students for NAEP to present any statistics at all, so I don’t have anything to show you, either.

However, we do have data on income levels, as shown by whether the child’s family is deemed to be eligible for the National School Lunch Program or not. If they are eligible, that generally means a lower family income level (especially per person) than if they are NOT eligible.  First, the data for both 4th and 8th grade students across the nation, in large cities, and in DC public schools, taken directly from the NAEP TUDA report. Remember again that in 2009, charter schools are NOT included.

and, now, a table and graph showing the actual gaps in match achievement at the 4th grade level between students eligible for the national school lunch program, and those who are not:

and, for the 8th graders:

Really remarkable, isn’t it? By race, by percentile ranking, and by income level, during the last 2 years, on every single measure, the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” has dramatically increased. But this same trend is NOT found in the nation as a whole, nor in large cities as a whole. That is, it has happened only in DC public schools, ever since Michelle Rhee (and Adrian Fenty) took over.

How and exactly has this happened????

Published in: on December 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm  Comments (9)  
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