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Report: Longview schools closing 'achievement gap'

Report: Longview schools closing 'achievement gap'

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Ethnic minorities have tightened the “achievement gap” between themselves and other students at three of Longview’s five secondary schools, according to a state report presented this week.

Washington State Board of Education’s Achievement Index Report compares reading and math achievement for all white and Asian students with that of all African-American, Pacific Islander, Native American and Latino students. Typically, the white/Asian subgroup does better than the other ethnic subgroup, and the difference is known as “the achievement gap.”

Results of the 2011-12 report shows, however, that the traditionally lower-achieving subgroup is outperforming the white/Asian subgroup at Monticello and Cascade middle schools. Both subgroups were doing equally well at Mount Solo Middle School, according to the report, discussed at Monday’s Longview School Board meeting.

“The achievement gap goal is zero,” Dana Jones, the district’s director of leadership and learning, told the school board. “The goal is for everyone to be doing equally well.”

The achievement gap is narrow at R.A. Long High school, with the white/Asian group doing slightly better than the other subgroup. At Mark Morris High School, the white/Asian subgroup was still significantly ahead of the other subgroup.

“We’ve got some work to do on subgroups, but the (high) extended graduation rate shows that great things are happening at Mark Morris for kids,” Jones said.

Here are the index scores: A “0” score means the subgroups are doing equally well and is the best score. A negative score means the minorities that traditionally perform poorly are doing better than the white/Asian subgroup:

  • Cascade Middle School: -1.00
  • Monticello Middle School: -0.84
  • Mount Solo Middle School: 0
  • R.A. Long High School: 0.22
  • Mark Morris High School: 1.67

Jones also called the board’s attention to the schools’ overall index scores, a comprehensive look at how schools have improved compared to the previous year. Scores of 5.5 to 7 are considered “exemplary,” and all the Longview secondary schools fell into the ‘good’ range” of 4 to 4.99, Jones said.

  • R.A. Long: 4.7 (previous year: 4.4)
  • Monticello: 4.69 (previous year: 3)
  • Mount Solo: 4.44 (previous year: 3.31)
  • Cascade: 4.31 (previous year: 3.56)
  • Mark Morris: 4.26 (previous year: 5.75)

State index scores for the elementaries will be discussed at a future meeting. For full details and charts on school achievement, see Monday’s agenda

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