DCPS today released their annual test results with some disappointing findings for elementary education. DCPS elementary students tested 4% worse in both reading and mathematics as compared to last year, while DCPS middle school students tested 4% better in both reading and mathematics. One step forward, one step back. Surely not the news that embattled Chancellor Michelle Rhee wanted to hear, nor something that Fenty wanted either. DCPS is quick to point out that the three year trends since Chancellor Rhee came on are still impressive, and they’re right: Since 2007, students scoring proficient in math and reading, in middle school, are up 14%, and in elementary school, are up 7% for reading and 14% for math. That’s a gain you can really see.
There’s going to be some variation from year to year in how the tests turn out. Are 4% drops good? No, they’re not. But it’s hard to ignore the longterm trend that’s going on right now.