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Evidence that School policies matter
"A Generation ago, 68% of the African Americans in Minneapolis were high school graduates compared with 76% of whites..." Clarence Hightower, President, CEO Mpls Urban League [Insight News, page 2, Wed 29 May 2002] Today, Only 49% of all students and 14% of Indian students entering 9th grade finish high school.
- MN Department of Children, Families and Learning
On National Assessment of Educational Progress exams the difference in average reading scores between black & white 13 year olds declined by about 50% between 1971 & 1988. This test score gap has increased by about 75% since 1988. [The New Crisis (NAACP magazine), Sept/Oct 2001, "Long Division," p. 25-31, graph on page 28]
Myth: Schools with high concentrations of poor and/or black students inevitably get poor results due to the disadvantages associated with being poor and/or black.
In the year 2000 The Education Trust identified 4,577 high-performing, high- poverty and/or minority schools, which educated about 2,070,000 students, including about 1,280,000 low-income students, 564,000 African-American students; and 600,000 Latino students. [Dispelling the Myth Revisited, The Education Trust, http://www.edtrust.org]
Why are high poverty schools in Mpls also the poorest performing schools?
New & largely inexperienced teachers are generally assigned to the district’s high poverty schools.
"In an analysis of 900 Texas school districts, Ronald Ferguson found that teachers’ expertise—as measured by scores on a licensing examination, master’s degrees, & experience—accounted for about 40% of the measured variance in students’ reading and mathematics achievement at grades 1 through 11..."
-Nov. 1997 "Doing What matters Most: Investing in Quality Teaching," by Linda Darling-Hammond, Prepared for the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.