The Superintendent has taken to writing weekly bulletins of late. That’s great “ as long as the information is not misleading or less-than-compete.
This week the Superintendent and her staff released information suggesting that Boston has the third shortest workday of the major cities the school department selected. That may and may not be true “ a lot depends on how one defines the issue. Regardless, the length of a school day may not be a measure of…anything. Even if it has become trendy. We took a look at student achievement.
There is only one national test given right now, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. Using the NAEP, Boston “ and Massachusetts “ have done quite well over the years in comparison to other cities and states.
So we took a look at the school department’s selected longer-school-day districts to see how Boston compared. Five of the cities with a longer school day participate, as does Boston, in what may be termed an urban competition. Those cities that participate and have a longer school day than Boston are Atlanta, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, and Milwaukee. How did we fare? Quite well.
We looked at reading, math, and science achievement in grades four and eight, for total of six categories. These are the only tests given. Boston’s scores exceeded the other five districts in each category. At each grade level. No exception. See the data below. So the next time the superintendent says we have the shortest day in America, she ought add, “but we have the best schools according to NAEP.”
Now you know the rest of the story.
|Math 4||Math 8||Reading 4||Reading 8||Science 4||Science 8|
(Data, courtesy of NAEP)