A Hypothetical Student Who Graduated From the Kansas City Public School District In Spring, 2012

A mem­ber of the Do the Right Thing for Kids Board of Directors offers this pic­ture of a typ­i­cal stu­dent who grad­u­at­ed from the Kansas City Public School District in spring 2012. What might this student’s K-12 aca­d­e­m­ic progress look like in this dis­trict in tur­moil?

If the stu­dent entered kinder­garten in fall 1999 when the District was stripped of its pro­vi­sion­al accred­i­ta­tion for the first time, he would have grad­u­at­ed last spring. As a third grad­er he would have tak­en his first MAP test in the spring of 2003. According to the District’s AYP report on the DESE web­site, a third grad­er in 2003, along with 84.9% of his peers, would have scored below pro­fi­cient in Communication Arts. He and 82.1% of his peers would have scored below pro­fi­cient in Math. Millions of Title I dol­lars would have been spent in inter­ven­tion tech­niques to address these defi­cien­cies. Certainly as we fol­low his career we should see some progress.

However, when he was a sixth grad­er in spring 2006, he and 85.9% of his peers would have scored below pro­fi­cient in Comm Arts. Similarly, he and 87.2% of his peers would have scored below pro­fi­cient in Math. As an 8th grad­er in spring 2008, this pic­ture is equal­ly dis­mal. He and 75.7% of his peers scored below pro­fi­cient in Comm Arts, and he and 84.1% of his peers scored below pro­fi­cient in Math.

If he did not drop out of school and took the ACT as a senior last spring, he and his peers would have scored an aver­age of 16.4. Chances are that he grad­u­at­ed from the dis­trict. What a dis­ser­vice the dis­trict has done to this stu­dent! How can any­one sug­gest that progress has been made in the last decade?

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