Jefferson County math scores on federal testing look problematic
New scores for major urban school districts from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released today, and it looks like more trouble for Louisville and Jefferson County.
I put this first table together using the NAEP Data Explorer statistical significance test tools. It shows how white eighth grade students in Jefferson County Public Schools stacked up against their peers in the other large city systems that took part in what is called the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) program in 2011.
Note that Jefferson County was outscored by 10 other large city systems by a statistically significant amount and only outscored whites in Cleveland and Milwaukee by a statistically significant amount.
This next table shows results from the new, 2013 testing.
Big problems! Now white eighth grade students in 14 large city systems statistically significantly outscored Jefferson County, and Jefferson whites only statistically significantly outscored Cleveland. That is all.
Also, the eighth grade NAEP Math Scale Score for Jefferson County’s white students stayed perfectly flat at 285.
Now, let’s see how the Jefferson County African-American kids performed.
In 2011 six large city systems outscored blacks in Jefferson County by a statistically significant amount and Jefferson County’s blacks outdid six other cities’ blacks by a significant amount.
That changed in 2013.
Jefferson County’s blacks lost a bit of ground and now are outscored by blacks in seven cities and only bested blacks in four other large city systems.
Blacks in Kentucky’s largest city also experienced completely flat eighth grade math scores of 257 between 2011 and 2013.
This isn’t progress.
Not shown in the tables, but also released in the NAEP reports today, Jefferson County’s mathematics proficiency rates in math for both fourth and eighth grade are gruesome. White fourth graders in the district only scored 48 percent proficient on NAEP math, while the district’s white eighth graders only scored 35 percent proficient.
It gets depressing when we look at black math proficiency rates. In the fourth grade, Jefferson County’s blacks were only 14 percent proficient, and the eighth graders turned in an even more dismal proficiency rate of just 10 percent. That’s all!
After nearly a quarter of a century of promises that Kentucky’s education system was going to fix such problems, this positively cries out for more creative measures such as nation-leading charter school legislation that would allow parents some real choice options on where their kids get educated.