DC school closings in black and white

The Black and White of School Closures

Locally, DC Action for Children, a non-profit advocacy organization came to a similar conclusion that educational outcomes have been minimal in the District of Columbia.  Their newly released study, DC KIDS COUNT, Third Grade Proficiency in DC: Little Progress (2007-2011) , looked at five years of third grade reading and math test scores from the DC Comprehensive Assessment System, (DC CAS) for insights about citywide proficiency, the achievement gap and neighborhood disparities.
Their results? “We could not prove any statistically significant citywide progress from 2007-2011 in reading or math proficiency. The same held true when we broke scores down by race, by DCPS schools, DC public charter schools, students from economically advantaged or students from economically disadvantaged families.”
This study neutralizes the rationale used by Chancellor Henderson and her predecessor Michelle Rhee which is embedded in the first goal of the five-year plan DC Public Schools ) which is: “To improve achievement rates.”

I personally don’t believe that Henderson’s under-utilization argument makes any sense. What we know is that the policy of closing schools has not saved DC Public Schools (DCPS)  any money. The evidence shows us that closing our schools has driven more parents out of our public schools to charters and elsewhere. It’s a no brainer that less students in our public schools equals less money for DCPS.

DC Public Schools cannot demonstrate that their continued failed policy of closing 20 plus schools every 4 years, is not achieving its number one goal of improving test scores. So why then is Henderson and other heads of school districts stuck on stupid nationally, one might ask?


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