Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

See Ya, Kaya: The Achievement Gap

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Pete Tucker
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

Kaya Henderson
Copyrighted Image? DMCA

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on Kaya Henderson's leadership of DCPS. [Part 1]

After six years as head of D.C. Public Schools, Kaya Henderson steps down Friday, claiming she's turned around a troubled school system.

"DCPS has become the fastest--improving urban school district in the country," Henderson's DCPS bio states.

But the facts tell a different story. It's one of slight overall improvement (largely due to gentrification and changing demographics), masking a disturbing reality: under Henderson the achievement gap has grown and D.C.'s most at-risk students have fallen even farther behind.

"A frequent criticism of Henderson," writesCity Paper's Jeffrey Anderson, "is that she promotes progress by highlighting aggregate student test scores that either do not account for or obscure one of the widest achievement gaps in the country."

"Looking at the system as a whole the district has maintained a modest improvement for all students," Washington Teachers' Union president Elizabeth Davis wrote in response to Part 1 of this series.

But when we disaggregate this data, a more compelling story emerges: students and teachers throughout the district are not receiving the needed resources that would aid in mitigating the scourge of multi-generational poverty.

Mayoral Control

Henderson arrived at DCPS in 2007 when her close friend Michelle Rhee took the reins of the school system.

Their arrival coincided with D.C. switching to mayoral control of schools, which disempowered the elected school board, and gave Rhee and Henderson unprecedented authority.

This power grab was justified as necessary to address D.C.'s wide achievement gaps: between black/Latino and white, and lower and higher-income students. But after Rhee and Henderson's combined near-decade atop DCPS, the achievement gaps haven't narrowed. In fact they've widened.

The gaps "are huge -- and years of corporate reform didn't stop them from widening," writes Valerie Strauss, a rare voice willing to challenge Henderson at the Washington Post.

The Associated Press similarly found that under Henderson the achievement gap "remained persistently high and has increased by some measures."

"The gaps between wealthy and poor remain huge--and have actually increased--under Rhee and Henderson," wrote former PBS reporter John Merrow, citing DCPS scores on the test known as "the nation's report card."

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Pete Tucker Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Pete Tucker is an independent DC reporter.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How The Washington Post Covers for a Top D.C. Official

How Change Happens: 18 Acts of Resistance

A Must-Read in Trying Times: Chomsky's 'Requiem for the American Dream'

Backed by $10 million in 'Dark Money,' Gorsuch Claims He's Apolitical

Is RFK Jr. 'Anti-Vaccine'?

How The Media Paved the Way for Trump's Attack on Syria

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend