DCPS: You Can't Really Weigh Rhee's Reign W/O Charters
I was with @danagoldestein's recent post on achievement gaps in DCPS right up until the point at which she revealed that the numbers she was using -- NAEP TUDA stats just released this week -- didn't include charter schools. Of course it's not Goldstein's fault that charters aren't included -- a fact I hadn't known and really needs to be addressed. But the absence of charter school data undercuts her argument that achievement gaps remain large in DC (and by extension that Michelle Rhee's reign was largely ineffective) because it means so many low-income minority kids are left out of the NAEP data. The ever-helpful Jay Mathews tells us that there are 53 charters in DCPS serving 40 percent of DCPS students. Not all of those are high performing schools, of course, and DCPS like most urban districts doesn't have direct oversight of charter schools, but I feel that the presence, growth, and whatever impact the charter schools have had on DCPS students accrues in part to her. Someone figure out how to get NAEP scores for a sample of charter kids into TUDA and then we can really see what the achievement gap looks like in DCPS.