Low-Income Middle Schools: Who does it best? Part 2: Math


Yesterday, I looked at which low-income schools performed best and which performed worst on the recent CAASPP scores. When I wrote that post, I made an assumption. I assumed that the list would be similar in both English and Math.

That assumption was generally correct.

Of the top 20 low-income schools in English, 15 of the schools are ALSO in the top 20 for math. And of the bottom 20 low-income schools in English, 15 of those schools are ALSO in the bottom 20 for math. 

In other words, for schools with exceptional scores (the top and bottom 20), successful teaching does not seem to be so much about teaching the subject, but about the whole learning environment. When a school has a strong learning culture, the growth transcends subject matter.

The top 20*:

Many of the trends from the English scores still hold – KIPP and Bright Star are still very strong schools, the top of the list is still dominated by charter schools.

What is different is that, in Math, there are almost twice as many traditional schools in the top 20, and they are higher up in the list. Exhibit A: Luther Burbank Middle School.

As a Math teacher from Luther Burbank Middle School, allow me to bathe is self-congratulation for a moment…..Ok, enough of that.

The bottom 20:

Much like in English, we have a tour of South Los Angeles with these low scores. And Charter networks that were on the top, also have schools on the bottom (PUC, Alliance, ICEF).

The correlation between the lists in English and Math makes me wonder – how closely correlated are English and Math scores? Do schools that do well on English tend to do better in Math as well? I’ll save that for another day.

UPDATE: An error on my spreadsheet counted KIPP Academy of Innovation as an elementary school. It is a middle school, so I added it to the list. As a result, you have 21 top schools.

5 Comment

  1. This is great stuff – although KIPP Academy of Innovation should be on the list as well – 66% level 3/4 in math in addition to their results in ELA.

    1. You are correct. There was some glitch on my spreadsheet and it counted AOI as an elementary school, and kept it off the list. Thank you for the correction.
      However, 66 is not the right number because we are only counting the economically disadvantaged students. The data shows 64 on my end.

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