Growing Achievement Gaps in Alexandria

Growing Achievement Gaps in Alexandria

Chart data source: ACPS 2020 Scorecard for 2017-2018 School Year

Declining 2017-18 performance measures express “a clear message … of needing a sustained focus on eliminating achievement gaps,” Clinton Page, the schools’ accountability officer, told the School Board last Thursday, March 21. The school division’s strategic plan, adopted in 2015, outlines numerous objectives for 2020, as well as myriad performance measures to track progress. Page likened these metrics to a car’s “check engine light” — “it’s not going to tell you why that light came on, but it will certainly illuminate potential areas for additional focus,” he said. Of 143 measures from the 2017-18 academic year, a little over half showed improvement compared to the year before. About a quarter each showed consistency or decline. Of those showing decline, half pertain to “achievement gaps” between demographic subgroups of students. Regarding pass rates on PALS, a literacy readiness test, School Board member Veronica Nolan expressed concern that some children are “not leaving kindergarten prepared.” For more, visit www.acps.k12.va.us/acps2020 and www.acps.k12.va.us/idashboard.