Assessment of Rhee/Henderson/Mayoral control in DC public schools

Here is a very long article on the legacy of the mayoral takeover of DC public schools back in 2007, which brought in Chancellors Rhee and Henderson, among other things. Having been a teacher, a mentor, and a volunteer in and visiting DC public schools for that period of time, I’m not particularly impressed with the changes I’ve seen. The article, which I still haven’t finished reading, has criticism of what hasn’t worked, by Mary Levy and  John Merrow, and also features a reply by Thomas Toch (who is very much a cheerleader for the “reforms”).

Here’s the link. Please read the article and comment, and take some action as well.

Major Failure of “Capital Gains” Program

The ‘Capital Gains’ program has failed.

When will its major backers – Michelle Rhee, Roland Fryer, and some billionaires – admit it?

Last year, there was nearly no difference in the changes in performance of the ‘experimental’ and ‘control’ groups in the ‘Capital Gains’ program. But this year, the second full year of the program,  the ‘treatment’ group – the schools where students received payments for doing various things – saw their scores drop significantly, whereas the ‘control’ group of schools saw their scores rise by a similar amount.

Here are the graphs and tables I prepared. First, reading:

As you can see, from 2009 to 2010, the fraction of students in all of the control group schools who scored ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’ on the DC-CAS in reading, ROSE by a little over five percentage points. That’s the blue line, the middle column above. However, in the experimental group of schools, the fraction of students who ‘passed’ the DC-CAS FELL by about four percentage points. That’s the red line, the last column in the table.

How about math?

In this graph and table, you can  the fraction of students passing the DC-CAS in math ROSE by about four and a half percentage points from 2009 to 2010. But in the treatment group, where students were paid to do the right thing, the percentage of students passing the DC-CAS in math FELL by over two percentage points.

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