Educational (in)Equity Part 3


This week we were going to highlight some data from our Ready Middle Schools Project, but it seems more pertinent to comment on the recent articles by the Examiner highlighting the gap between the District's best and worst schools and an article from the Post detailing how Northwest schools continue to crowd.

Now, these articles don't really tell us anything we don't though. By "we" we mean people who have seen the evidence and act upon, not those who refuse to do anything with it - like the Deputy Mayor for Education's office and the Chancellor's office.

Go ahead and take a look at the chart below, it is basically saying that the learning gap between the best and worst schools is growing. The study concludes that "if two students have the same test scores in 2010, but one attends a wealthy, high-performing school and the other attends the opposite, the student at the wealthy school likely would have outpaced the latter student substantially in 2011, even though they were on equal footing the year before." In other words, the students at the low-preforming schools do not continue to learn and grow intellectually.

We see, then, that the same school system is basicaly two systems, one for the rich and one for the poor, and isn't it amazing that this system can get it right in one place and not in another?

Why do you think everyone wants to go to Northwest schools? Clearly, they have more resources, more supports, and more money to educate children.

Is poverty the excuse? Why is it that schools with poorer students are funded less and then expected to obtain miraculous results?

This reform claims to be about "students-first." Let's see if they really are. Let's call on them to stop firing teachers, to stop defunding schools, and start paying attention to the needs and the wants of the community.

Why are teachers from poorer schools being cut?

Why is the evidence constantly being ignored?

Teachers are constanlty fired over poor results like this, the saying goes that they do not add any "value" to a students education. This may or may not be true, but what we can see is that enough is enough, this current reform has failed (and will continue to fail) because it is not about educating the whole child. Reformers say it is the teachers fault, and we have tried firing teachers. Our so-called reformers have failed us, the evidence has spoken, and now it is time for heads at the top to roll. After all, are they adding any "value?"

A growing gap
A recent report shows that, on average, students at the best schools are outpacing their peers at the worst schools on the city's standardized tests.
Average two-year median growth percentile by ward
Top 5 Schools - Reading
SchoolNeighborhoodDC CAS   proficiency 2011Growth scores
Hyde-Addison Elementary SchoolGeorgetown81.2%79.7%
Murch Elementary SchoolTenleytown85.9%77.7%
Benjamin Banneker Academic High SchoolPleasant Plains (magnet school)94.3%75.9%
Stoddert Elementary SchoolGlover Park78.2%74%
Key Elementary SchoolPalisades87.7%72%
Top 5 Schools - Math
Key Elementary SchoolPalisades90.8%73%
Bancroft Elementary SchoolMount Pleasant53.1%72.3%
Ross Elementary SchoolDupont Circle70.7%72%
Murch Elementary SchoolTenleytown85.9%71.7%
Stoddert Elementary SchoolGlover Park84.1%70.2%
Bottom 5 Schools - Reading
Eastern Senior High SchoolEast Capitol Hill7.1%27.5%
Savoy Elementary SchoolAnacostia21%27.6%
Aiton Elementary SchoolLincoln Heights21.7%28.5%
Noyes Education CampusBrookland31.9%29.5%
Tyler Elementary SchoolCapitol Hill28%30%
Bottom 5 Schools - Math
Drew Elementary SchoolNortheast Boundary13.3%23.2%
Johnson Middle SchoolDouglass17.1%24.6%
Savoy Elementary SchoolAnacostia15.4%25.2%
Aiton Elementary SchoolLincoln Heights16.7%28.6%
Noyes Education CampusBrookland29%29%
Note: Growth scores refer to the "median growth percentile," which refer to year-to-year growth on the D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System exams. The numbers are averaged between the growth seen in the 2009-2010 school year and the 2010-2011 school year. For example, a school's MGP of 77.7 percent means the average student scored better in 2011 than 77.7 percent of students citywide who received the same score as the student in 2009. Alternative and special-education schools were not included in these charts.


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