For example, eighth graders entered the year at a 5.5 grade level (the middle of fifth grade, or 2.5 years behind where they ought to be). As of April, those students were at a 6.2 grade level (the beginning of sixth grade), which means that they are now almost three grade levels behind! First graders who entered the year at 1.3 in reading (above a first-grade level) had progressed to a 1.6 (up 0.3) from September to April, meaning they will enter second grade behind.
Before Dr. Wortham came to the district, we didn’t even know how students were truly doing throughout the year. So, that’s actually a leap forward. Now, Dr. Wortham should be sounding the alarms, emphasizing the need for every dollar of the school budget to go toward improving student performance. What we are funding right now is totally insufficient to ensure the success of our teachers and students. The June 20 budget requires a total focus on improving public school performance. We must stop the backslide!