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Thompson: The Education Trust Admits Defeat (Sorta)

StuckSchools2-cover The Education Trust, an organization of the last, liberal true believers in NCLB-type accountability, has published "Stuck Schools Revisited," which shows how data-driven accountability has largely failed to improve low-performing schools -- as well as the lowest performing children of color in higher performing schools in Maryland and Indiana. Maryland improved its reading and math scores dramatically between 2005 and 2009.  In 2005, 2/3rds of blacks attended schools that were low-performing for their subgroup.  But by 2009, only 10% of Maryland schools improved performance for the bottom quartile of black students.  Results were similar for Latinos, and the very different state of Indiana.- JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.

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These data attributed to “Stuck Schools Revisited: Beneath the Averages” aren’t found anywhere in the report nor were they part of our findings. While many elementary and middle schools in Maryland started out low-performing for their African-American students:

• Of all schools w/ data for 20 or more African-American students, only 10% were low-improving in reading. The vast majority made gains for these students: 46% made average improvement and 44% were high-improving (see Figure 8).

• Of all schools w/ data for 20 or more African-American students that started out low-performing for this student subgroup in reading, just 6% were low-improving. The vast majority made gains for these students: 36% made average improvement and 59% were high-improving (see Figure 9).

So, in fact, substantial numbers of Maryland schools made big gains for their African-American students from 2005-2009.

For more information on this new report from The Education Trust, visit http://www.edtrust.org/dc/press-room/press-release/even-%E2%80%98high-performing%E2%80%99-schools-leave-some-students-behind-new-study-show.

Because the report was so confusing I: a) used cut and paste, and b) sent a draft post out for expert advice.

On page 5 you write "two-thirds of black children attended schools that were low-performing."

On page 6 you wrote:

"As Figure 8 shows, about 44 percent of schools with
data for African-American students showed top-quartile
improvement for this subgroup, and only 10 percent
showed bottom-quartile improvement."

And as I wrote, relatively speaking Maryland was a NCLB success story.

I've been to a county fair or two and I've studied a lot of reports, but I can't recall a study that was as hard to read. But I bent over backwards to not misquote you.

I left off three words regarding page 5.

On page 5 you write "two-thirds of black children attended schools that were low-performing FOR THEIR SUBGROUP."

In my post, I wrote:

In 2005, 2/3rds of blacks attended schools that were low-performing for their subgroup.

On page 6 you wrote:

"As Figure 8 shows, about 44 percent of schools with
data for African-American students showed top-quartile
improvement for this subgroup, and only 10 percent
showed bottom-quartile improvement."

In my post, I wrote:

But by 2009, only 10% of Maryland schools improved performance for the bottom quartile of black students.

Figure 8 shows results for schools where 98% of blacks attend.

And as I wrote, relatively speaking Maryland was a NCLB success story.

On the other hand, the thrust of your report is the lack of success while the thrust on your comment is the success of Maryland.

I've been to a county fair or two and I've studied a lot of reports, but I can't recall a study that was as hard to read. But I bent over backwards to not misquote you.

Any mischaracterizations of the data came from you, and I just cited your words, almost verbatum, and in context.

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