We have seen that Richmond’s underperformance reaches the disabled, economically disadvantaged, and limited English proficiency subgroups. The VDOE Web site provides data that allow a more fine-grained look at that problem.
To start, here is the distribution of 2016 SOL pass rates by division on the reading tests. Here, and below, I’ve yellowed the bar at Richmond’s pass rate.
The disabled population shows a much different distribution, with Richmond again underperforming, but not so dramatically.
The economically disadvantaged group also shows lowered overall performance but not so much as the disabled group. Richmond does not shine.
Next, the LEP group.
Note: Twenty-nine divisions have fewer than ten LEP students taking the reading tests. VDOE does not report pass rates in those cases so those divisions are not included in this graph; similarly, twenty-six divisions are not reported in the LEP math graph below. VDOE reports seven divisions with LEP averages of zero on both the reading and math tests; those also do not show on the graphs.
Finally, we have the students who are not in any VDOE group: Not disabled, not ED, not LEP, and not in the very small migrant and homeless groups not analyzed above. Those no-group students test well on average.
But even this high-performing group performs badly in Richmond.
(This despite RPS taking credit for the Maggie Walker students who do not attend any Richmond Public School.)
The math data paint much the same picture.
There you have it: On average, Richmond can’t teach reading or math to any disadvantaged group or even to the high-performing, not-disadvantaged group.
But notice that Carver Elementary School, with a student population drawn from a part of the inner city that includes an RRHA project, breaks the pattern by turning in outstanding and division-leading results.
It’s not the students that are the problem here, folks. It’s the schools.
Moreover, we get to wonder whether Richmond’s relatively better scores from its disabled population suggest that Richmond’s past abuse of its students to cheat on the SOLs continues in some measure.