All Durham Student Groups Post Achievement Gains
Posted July 8, 2003 3:53 a.m. EDT
DURHAM, N.C. — End-of-grade composite test scores in Durham reveal significant gains among all groups when delineated by ethnicity, with both African-American and white students in grades 3-8 reporting their highest one-year increases since 1998-99 in both reading and mathematics.
The number of African-American students reading at or above grade level has jumped to 73.5 percent, up 9.3 percentage points over last year. Among white students in the same grades, 94.1 percent are now at or above grade level, up 2.5 percentage points from last year's 91.6 percent.
In mathematics, African-American students reported a record-breaking 7.5 percentage-point jump (69.9 to 77.4 percent at or above grade level), while white students posted a 2.1-point increase (93.3 to 95.4), also the highest increase in four years.
Hispanic students reported a 10.2 percentage-point jump, the highest in history, from 67.7 to a record 77.9 percent, in mathematics, with their second-highest increase of 5.6 percentage points in reading (58.8 to 64.4 percent, also a record score).
Since 1998-99, the Achievement Gap among readers in grades 3 through 8 has narrowed by one third. In 1998-99, 89.2 percent of white students were reading at or above grade level, measured against 57.9 percent of African-Americans, for a gap of 31.3 percentage points. That has shrunk to a difference of 20.6 percentage points for the 2002-03 school year (94.1 percent for white students, 73.5 percent for African-Americans).
The breakdown of end-of-grade test score composites by ethnicity offers these additional results:
"The matchless efforts expended by our teachers, students, principals, Central Services professionals, parents and community supporters have produced these astounding outcomes," Superintendent Ann T. Denlinger said, "thereby ensuring Durham Public Schools' transcendence to a new level of accomplishment.
"Our most challenged students have bounded upward at unprecedented growth rates, while our higher-performing students have shown record-breaking improvements as well. There could hardly be a better forecast for our dual goals of 95 percent of third-graders reading proficiently and closing the achievement gap in four years."