Wednesday, July 09, 2008

District Traditional Schools Show Significant Gains in Standardized Test 

It's a great day because DCPS students demonstrated significant gains on the DC-CAS. As Dion Haynes of the Washington Post reports, math proficiency scores for elementary students went up by 11 percent while those ranked proficient in reading increased on average by eight percent. For secondary school students the increase in math and reading was nine percent. Last year 31 school made AYP under NCLB. This year the number is 47.

While school chancellor Michele Rhee has already taken credit for the improvement, and some people point to the work of past superintendent Clifford Janey, it is clear that the root cause of students doing better on this test is the popularity of charter schools. If the pressure did not exist from over 30% of students leaving the traditional schools for charters the District never would have seen Mayor Fenty take over DCPS and provide so much autonomy to the chancellor. Most important is that there would never had been the renewed emphasis on student achievement exhibited by both Mr. Janey and Ms. Rhee. Congratulations to the school choice movement for creating the level of competition that is now rising all boats. It took much longer then expected but this has always been the goal that those of us involved in this effort have always been after.

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