Anderson Cooper recently visited the Harlem Children’s Zone, and last night he reported that Geoffrey Canada’s schools have made huge progress in closing the city’s racial achievement gap. That story has also been celebrated by other high-profile media figures, like the New York Times’ David Brooks.
But Teachers College professor and regular GothamSchools contributor Aaron Pallas argues that we ought to look at the schools’ scores in all tested grades, not just the one grade level frequently cited in the media.
Pallas acknowledges that when looking only at third grade test scores, it does appear that the Harlem Children’s Zone has closed the racial achievement gap in New York City. But, he continues:
[T]here are other elementary and middle school grades on which to compare HCZ and white and Asian students across New York City, and the story is quite different for these other grades….
Taking all of these data together, there is virtually no basis for claiming that the Harlem Children’s Zone has eliminated the racial achievement gap in elementary and middle school.