Posted January 30, 2014 in Press Releases
Ohio’s large urban school districts have a hard time countering a general perception that their schools are uniformly low-achieving. To prove otherwise, school officials hold up their high-achieving schools as evidence the districts are up to the task of meeting high academic standards. Inevitably, the high achievers acquire the status of models for replication.
School officials are correct, of course, to tout the high performers, but the effort comes with its own pitfall, unfortunately. The question often arises: If the large urban districts can and do produce highly rated schools, why can’t they replicate what works in the model school in their other buildings? If Akron’s Miller-South, say, consistently rates Excellent or better, why doesn’t Innes or Jennings?
It is a difficult question that puts many an urban superintendent on the defensive. The findings of “Misleading Measurements,” a study released last week by Policy Matters Ohio, offer an illuminating perspective on the vexing issue of raising academic improvement in urban schools. The study shows why even within the same district presenting high performers as models for reform is unfair and a flawed approach.
In each of Ohio’s Big 8 districts, the study compared districtwide demographic factors