The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) is not one of the 15 urban districts whose 4th and 8th grade reading and math scores on the 2022 "Nation's Report Card" I ranked in a Newsmax article on Nov. 15.
But my subsequent motivation to analyze the DCPS' dismal results on the four pivotal exams has been provided by a very disturbing Newsmax article last week, which reported that public K-12 schools in the nation's capital are requiring a negative COVID test for all students and staff members returning to classrooms after the Thanksgiving break.
A positive test will force a student or teacher to miss at least five days of in-person instruction.
Significantly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documents that only 105 of the 397 COVID deaths in the District of Columbia in 2022 occurred since April 1, or 13 monthly.
Twenty-six metro school districts participated in the 2022 "Trial Urban District Assessment," or TUDA, and the average total score is 957 points, which is an unprecedented 19-point decline from the 976 in 2019.
District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) ranks No. 15, with an atrocious 944 points, or 25 fewer than in 2019.
Since roughly 12 points equals one year of educational progress, public-school students in the nation's capital lag by a humongous 57 points, or 5.7 years, behind their counterparts in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who rank first with 1,001 points.
More egregiously, there is a Grand-Canyon-like chasm in DCPS scores between White students and their Black and Hispanic classmates. White students scored 1,141 points, which is the highest total among the four major racial or ethnic groups in the 26 urban districts.
But Black students scored an abominable 890 points, or 251 points, or 20.9 academic years, behind their White classmates.
DCPS Hispanic 4th and 8th graders scored 920 points, which is 221 points, or 18.4 years, behind the score their White classmates.
In contrast to these monumental racial or ethnic achievement gulfs in D.C., those in top-ranked Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) are much narrower. White students scored 1,077.
Hispanic 4th and 8th graders in M-DCPS scored 1005, which is 85 points, or 7.1 years, higher than their counterparts in D.C.
Black students in Miami-Dade scored 950, or 60 points higher than their counterparts in D.C.
Scores of the three groups in Miami-Dade, as compared to those of their contemporaries in D.C., are even more impressive when factoring in enrollments.
M-DCPS is the third largest district in America, with 325,000. With only 50,000 students, District of Columbia Schools ranks 90th.
Moreover, Miami-Dade schools have a 92% minority enrollment: 74% Hispanic and 18% Black.
D.C. schools are 79% minority: 58% Black and 21% Hispanic.
Not surprisingly, the DCPS's inexcusable, systemic failure to educate Black and Hispanic students is suppressed in an Orwellian press release on Oct. 24, 2022, which only avers that "large opportunity gaps persist among Black, Hispanic and White students across the four categories measured."
Furthermore, the DCPS press release tendentiously boasts that the 2022 exams "saw the highest percentage of students in Grade 4 Reading scoring proficient or advanced this year, a testament to the district's investment in early literacy."
In fact, reading proficient percentages among 4th graders in DCPS are Whites, 85%, Hispanics, 22%; Blacks, 16%.
Below basic, the lowest of four categories, are Whites, 3%; Blacks, 58% and Hispanics, 54%.
Advanced are Whites at a spectacular 48%, (up from 40% in 2019); Hispanics, 7% (same as 2019); and Blacks, 3% (same as 2019).
School district funding is certainly not the reason for Miami-Dade's excellent results, and D.C.'s mind-boggling failures.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2020, among the nation's 100 largest school systems, the District of Columbia ranked third in spending per pupil, at $22,856.
New York City is first at $28,828. Boston is second at $27,793, and Atlanta fourth at $17,289.
Miami-Dade, a Republican county, spent $9,240 per student in 2020.
But, to repeat, Miami-Dade Schools rank first among 26 districts on this year's TUDA, with 1,001 points. White students scored 1,077 points; Hispanic students, 1,005; and Black students, 950.
Boston Public Schools rank No. 7, with 967 points. White students scored 1,090; Asian students, 1,085; Hispanic students, 920; and Black students, 908.
New York City Public Schools rank No. 8 with 958 points. Asian students scored 1058; White students, 1045; Hispanic students, 908; and Black students, 890.
Atlanta Public Schools rank No. 13 with 946 points. White 4th and 8th graders scored 1,114; and Black elementary and middle schoolers, 896.
D.C. Public Schools rank No. 14 with 944 points. White students scored 1,141; Hispanic students, 920; and Black students, 890.
In conclusion, while Hispanic and Black students in Miami-Dade performed very credibly on this year's "Nation's Report Card, their counterparts in D.C., New York City, Boston and Atlanta had nearly identical, disastrous scores.
The blame for these heinous educational tragedies stops at the desks of the superintendents, principals, teachers, and politicians in the four Democratic, dystopian cities.
Mark Schulte is a retired New York City schoolteacher and mathematician who has written extensively about science and the history of science. Read Mark Schulte's Reports — More Here.
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