Thursday, February 24, 2011

Better-than-Average Scores, Big Achievement Gaps in Science

Better-than-Average Scores, Big Achievement Gaps in Science
February 24, 2011
by Emily Alpert
Voice of San Diego

San Diego Unified did better than the average for large urban school districts on a national science test, ranking fourth out of 17 big city districts in the percentage of students scoring proficient or above.

That may not be surprising, since San Diego Unified also has fewer students poor enough to get free or reduced price lunches than the average big city district, something that tends to make San Diego Unified look good when compared to other urban school systems.

But San Diego Unified also had some of the biggest achievement gaps between its white students and their Hispanic and black classmates, as well as economically disadvantaged students and better off ones, according to an analysis done by the school district itself. Boys also outperform girls.

And even with some of the highest scores among urban districts, San Diego has a way to go, with only 29 percent of fourth graders and 20 percent of eighth graders scoring proficient or advanced on the exam.

...Keep in mind, though, that California lagged near the bottom nationwide on these same science tests, which means San Diego was still behind national scores in both fourth and eighth grade.

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