Editor’s note: Peter Huidekoper, Jr. is a veteran educator. This is the latest installment of his newsletter, “Another View.”
From Waiting for “Superman”:
After noting that many kids slip from being B students in fifth grade to C students in 6th and then D students in 7thgrade, Geoffrey Canada asks: “Either kids are getting stupider every year, or something is wrong in the education system.”
Here is one way to see how Canada’s point applies to us in Colorado. Take a look at the declining percentage of African American and Hispanic students from this year’s junior class who scored at the proficient or advanced level, from 2005 to 2010. Where were they back in fifth grade—prior to middle school—and where were they last spring, as tenth graders? Troubling, agreed?
Declining percentage of minority students scoring proficient or advanced on CSAP – Class of 2012
|Black students||2005 – grade 5||2006 – grade 6||2007 – gr. 7||2008 – gr. 8||2009 – gr. 9||2010 – gr. 10|
|Hispanic students||2005 – grade 5||2006 – grade 6||2007 – gr. 7||2008 – gr. 8||2009 – gr. 9||2010 – gr. 10|
*This reading score—sadly still under 50%—was the only case where the 10th grade score was better than the 5th grade score, from 46 to 47 over five years. And just to be even more glum, as we know that a number of low-performing African American and Hispanic students drop out as freshmen or sophomores, what if they had stayed to take the test in 10thgrade? The scores for these groups would likely be even lower. Even more cause for alarm.
The trend for all of Colorado’s students, regardless of race, is almost as disturbing. Especially in math.
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