Saturday, April 17, 2010

Washington D.C. a bright spot in U.S. reading test data

Michelle Rhee, controversial superintendent of DC schools, will be happy to see this.

Reading scores stalled under 'No Child' law, report finds D.C. fourth-graders a bright spot in disappointing 2009 data
By Nick Anderson and Bill Turque
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reading achievement in D.C. public schools has climbed in the fourth grade in recent years, the federal government reported Wednesday, while progress nationwide has stalled despite huge instructional efforts launched under the No Child Left Behind law.

A report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that fourth-grade scores for the nation's public schools stagnated after the law took effect in 2002, rose modestly in 2007 and remained unchanged last year. By contrast, the long-troubled D.C. schools have made steady advances since 2003, although their scores remain far below the national average.

The national picture for eighth-grade reading was largely the same: a slight uptick in performance since 2007, but no gain in the seven years when President George W. Bush's program for school reform was in high gear. The District's eighth-grade reading scores showed meager growth in that time.

When Bush signed the law, hopes were high for a revolution in reading. Billions of dollars were spent, especially in early grades, to build fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and a love of books that would propel students in all subjects. The goal was to eliminate racial and ethnic achievement gaps. But Wednesday's report shows no great leaps for the nation and stubborn disparities in performance between white and black students, among others...

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