Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Format for Public School Achievement Comparative

This annual compilation, using scores gathered from the State and each system, is a very popular tool for newcomers and residents interested in the school system and student performance. Because no two systems have the same socioeconomic make-up, one of the only apples-to-apples comparisons is to use the national best practice of disaggregating scores.

For example, study the SAT scores for the 10 urban systems in the State on page 6. Using aggregate scores, Durham appears to be second to last. However, disaggregating the scores reveals that Durham is above the average for each ethnic group, second in one group, third in another and fourth in another.

Still lots of room for improvement but hardly the dire impressions given around the water-cooler based on news reports that emphasize the aggregate.

By popular request, the comparative has been converted from a flyer to a booklet with accolades for both the community and the school system added to the back cover. Quantities are available by request, particularly to organizations that work with newcomers like HR departments, recruiting agencies, relocation companies, Realtors etc.

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