Richmond Elementary Schools

While we await the (fictional) accreditation numbers, it might be interesting to look at some of the 2019 Richmond pass rates in more detail.

The excellent – but very sloooow – VDOE database can provide data by subject and by test level. The database also breaks out pass rates for students who are economically disadvantaged (“ED”) and for their more affluent peers (“Not ED”).

The ED averages run about 20 points below the Not ED so the SOL averages punish the schools with large ED populations. To avoid that distortion, we’ll look here at the the underlying ED/Not ED numbers.

To start, here are the Not ED pass rates on the 3d Grade Reading tests.

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Those ten schools with no data are the victims of the suppression rule (no numbers released to the public if fewer than 10 students). About all this tells us is that those schools have very large ED populations.

Here we see Munford, Holton, Patrick Henry, and Fox beating the state average. Then there are five schools where half or more of the Not ED students cannot pass the 3d grade reading tests.

Turning to the 3d grade ED students, we see the state average is lower than the ED by 24 points and the Richmond average, by 23.

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On these data, there’s no telling how well Munford and Fox did with the ED students. In any case, they had too few to affect their averages much.

Patrick Henry’s and Holton’s ED students badly underperformed their Not ED peers.

At the bottom of the scale, we see sixteen (57% of twenty-eight) schools where half or more of the ED students flunked the 3d grade reading tests. Indeed, on average 57.82% of the Richmond ED students did not pass those tests.

The fourth grade data paint a similar picture, albeit with some interesting differences.

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Do you believe that Chimborazo number? It could be that Chimborazo has an outstanding fourth grade English teacher; perhaps it has a few really bright kids; maybe it has a Carver type operation. No telling from these data.

Patrick Henry and Holton again did well. 

Turning to the 4th Grade ED students:

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As with the third grade, Holton did not do well. There were too few ED students to tell about Patrick Henry and, again, Munford.

Swansboro looks to have a very effective 4th grade English teacher.

But look at Chimborazo, second from the bottom. Those Not ED Chimborazo data look to be anomalous.

The fifth grade data again show a similar picture with, again, some interesting variations.

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Holton turns in yet another high Not ED/low ED performance.

In this case we have ED data for all the schools and we see Fox, Southampton, Cary, and Patrick Henry beating Munford as to the ED pass rate, with Munford not quite three points above the state average. Of course, these data do not separate the effects of teaching, student ability, or home environment so they do not speak directly to the quality of those schools. That said, Munford does not get any bragging rights.

To the good, these ED numbers, while appalling, are not as awful as those for the earlier grades.

For an overall view that reduces the effects of the suppression rules, here are the school average reading pass rates.

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Never mind the Munford/Fox empire: Cary, Obama, and Fisher are the ED stars here, with Redd and Francis also beating out Fox. Given that about 2/3 of Richmond students are ED, it’s interesting to see the duopoly thus dethroned.

These data also provide a nuance to moving students between Cary and either Fox or Munford. Cary gets better results with its own, majority ED students. The Munford and Fox ED numbers do not suggest that the Fox/Munford environments might convey any major benefits to those Cary ED students (for even more of that, see the math data below). Indeed, these data suggest it might be helpful to the Fox/Munford ED students if they were moved to Cary.

Turning to math (where a new, failure-averse scoring system improved pass rates statewide this year), the 3d Grade Not ED pass rates (where we have data) range from excellent to (mostly) discouraging.

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The ED pass rates are heartbreakers in too many cases, but look at Cary, Obama, and Redd.

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Nine schools have 3d grade pass rates below 50%, with Fox(!) nearly in that league.

Fourth Grade.

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Notice Swansboro, which also had good reading numbers in the fourth grade.

Fifth grade. Notice Fox upping its game here.

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Looking at the school-wide data, we see Munford and Fox still further down in the pack as to their ED students.

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Notice that Ginter Park joins Fox and Munford with excellent Not ED and not so excellent ED pass rates.

One more look: Here are the Not ED/ED differences.

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The several large differences raise the question whether those schools (which include Munford and Fox and some other high-performing schools) are serving their ED students well.

Then there are the anomalous cases, Greene and a few others, where the ED students passed at higher rates than the Not ED. Without more information it’s impossible to know what’s going on there but, for sure, something is out of whack.

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Note added on 9/17:

Here are two graphs that examine the Obama/Cary/Fox/Munford situation more directly. The red lines are the nominal accreditation thresholds.

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Those math data are particularly dramatic: Obama and Cary are dealing with much more challenging situations and getting clearly better results with their ED students.

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Stay tuned for a look at the middle schools.