Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Student Achievement Under Rhee No Better than Her Predecessors

According to a new study of DCPS student achievement on NAEP scores, "the nation's report card," Alan Ginsburg, former director of policy and program studies for the US Education Department, finds that improvements under Rhee were no better than the upward trend under Superintendants Vance and Janey. In fact, achievement improved the most under former Superintendent Paul Vance. Ginsburg makes clear that his analysis is not that of the US Department of Education, but his own. The full study can be read here.

In spite of these findings, former Chancellor Rhee, in Florida this week advising Governor Rick Scott and urging the State Legislature to support school vouchers, claimed once again record NAEP score gains under her leadership in DCPS. “Over the three years that I was there, we saw really record gains in academic achievement on the NAEP examination,” she said. “We went from being last in the entire nation to leading the entire nation in gains in both reading and math at both the fourth and eighth grade levels. And we were the only jurisdiction in the entire country in which every single subgroup of children improved their academic standing.”
Well, not exactly. It turns out now that the gains had been greater under Vance and Janey, Rhee's predecessors.

Monday, February 7, 2011

School Budget Allocations Under Scrutiny

DCPS has now postponed for the third time release of local school allocations for next year. The question of hard to defend inequities in school allocations during the Rhee years got a bit of sunlight thrown on it in an article by Bill Turque in the Washington Post today. Drawing on testimony delivered by SHAAPE [the Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators] the article voices concern about the lower level of funding that the large, comprehensive high schools have received relative to the specialty schools. Schools like Cardozo High, with really tough student populations, have to make do with significantly lower funding. The article raises the stakes on Kaya Henderson's administration as they get ready to release the preliminary school budget allocations -- any day now.