Update: Here is another district spreadsheet that shows the average racial/ethnic results across all grade levels.
OUSD’s test scores improved this year, after flattening out in 2007. But there is still plenty of room for improvement. Only about one-third of the kids tested scored at proficient levels or better in math, reading and science. (You can find the results here.)
Also, despite modest gains in the average scores of most ethnic groups, a striking racial achievement gap remains. It shows up in an area that the school district has zeroed in on during the last four or five years: Third-grade reading.
The disparity in the English language arts scores of white third-graders and their non-white peers has actually grown during the last five years, despite the district’s efforts to narrow the gap.
If you look at the percentages of those who scored at “proficient” or “advanced” levels in reading — one of the measures used to determine progress in the No Child Left Behind Act — the data is stark: White and black third-graders are 56 percentage points apart (79 percent/23 percent). For white and Latino students, the difference is 63 percentage points (79 percent/16 percent).
I made a spreadsheet and crude chart of this data, using the results from 2003, 2007 and 2008. You can find it here.
The economic achievement gap in third-grade reading scores was much smaller — 20 percentage points. It actually narrowed in the last year, but mostly because the scores of children who don’t come from low-income backgrounds dropped by 11 points.
One bright spot is the improvement by English learners. The percentage of English learners who tested at the proficient level or higher more than doubled in the last year, to 13 percent.
I plan to update this later in the day with more charts and analysis, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, if you notice anything in the sea of numbers, tell us about it.