Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Report: D.C. schools make most significant reading gains among urban systems

It's GREAT to see big gains in DC, validating the reforms driven by Michelle Rhee:

A federal study of trends in 11 major urban school systems shows that only one has made significant gains in reading achievement since 2007 in fourth and eighth grades: D.C. Public Schools.

The finding emerges from an analysis of 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress data made public Thursday.

Nationally, the study ranked Atlanta as the top-gaining urban school system of the past decade. Scores there rose steadily and significantly in fourth and eighth grades in the seven-year span after enactment of the No Child Left Behind law in 2002. But in many big cities, reading achievement has grown slowly or stagnated, especially in eighth grade.

The results mean that the goal of closing achievement gaps by 2014, an idealistic standard set when President George W. Bush signed the education law, remains far out of reach. President Obama is seeking a new goal that might be equally hard to attain: for all students to be on track for college and careers by 2020.

For the District, the study offers fresh signs of momentum for a school system long regarded among the nation's worst and bolsters Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's contention that Michelle A. Rhee, the hard-charging but controversial chancellor he hired three years ago, is on the right track. The results also echo gains city schools made in the same span on federal math tests.


Report: D.C. schools make most significant reading gains among urban systems

By Nick Anderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 21, 2010; B01

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