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Posted on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

MEAP test scores show Ann Arbor schools achievement gap continues despite some progress

By Kyle Feldscher

Related story: Consultant: Ann Arbor schools on the right track on closing achievement gap

The "achievement gap" in Ann Arbor schools is shrinking in many areas, but there are many grades and subjects that still show a significant difference between black and white students.

Each number in the following table represents the percent of students considered proficient or above on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program. To view test scores from various subgroups of students for the fall 2010 testing period, click here.

Achievement gap tables.jpg



Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

Why do schools think they can solve this problem? They're only teachers -not social engineers. How in the world do you reconstruct a child's family situation ? All they can really do is slow down the group that is ahead-- and nobody likes that.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 6:39 p.m.

Correction: "achievement gap" in all these propaganda pieces should be replaced by "parenting gap," a more accurate way to describe the problem.

J. A. Pieper

Thu, Jun 16, 2011 : 1:48 a.m.

We refer to the children as "Parent Impaired" - same thing as a "Parenting Gap" ... but for some reason teachers are held responsible, go figure.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

I've edited the link to the full report of Fall 2010 scores to a non-password protected page. In order to view the scores, look under the Fall 2010 category and click on "Demographic Reports (State, District, School)." My apologies for the broken link.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

@Kyle Yesterday you said "... decades-long attempt to close the achievement gap, the term commonly used to describe the difference between test scores, grades and overall school environment between white students and minority students" Today you post only Blacks and Whites results contradicting yesterday's story of what we paid $440k for. So which is it? Whites vs. minorities or only Blacks. Your inconsistency supports my contention from yesterday. This is what I said "..."Achievement gap" is the term commonly used to describe the difference between Blacks and Whites ONLY-politically corrected to sound like something else. There has been no work done with the gap between other minorities (Hispanic, Asian or Native American) and Caucasians The $441k is reparations' derived from our collective white guilt over slavery. As such, it has no impact on improving the plight of African Americans specifically or the poor or under served in general. The payment does exactly what it is intended to do - it eases our conscience." Further supporting my contention. Your interview with Mr. Singleton provided no comments about Asian over achievement or closing that gap. Why? Because this is not about's about white guilt regarding Blacks and slavery. It's surprising that you didn't challenge Mr. Singleton's rhetoric. You started to ask a real question then softened it to "How do you deal with that discomfort?" lol. DISCOMFORT? Really? Sorry Kyle, I'm not 'uncomfortable' talking about race. I resent you impling readers with question are 'discomfort'ed. I do not like being told something is one thing...and finding out it REALLY something else. There is a name for that.... I wish you had the spine to get real with Mr. Singleton and 'drill down' on this topic and get to the truth. We CAN handle the truth-it will set us free.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

It's the Bell Curve. Focus on providing equity of opportunity for all instead of equity of results.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

Another flaw in this chart is the ever-changing and always poorly explained standards that are used to determine whether a student is or is not proficient in a category. I have seen first hand in classrooms that were reported to have 100% or very near 100% of the students proficient in reading and math. Yet, realistically, several of those students couldn't be considered proficient in either category. I know that the system is supposed to initiate more stringent grading for MEAP next school year. I suspect that we'll probably see a decline in scores across the board then.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

they are useful for aaps to not have to provide service for high-functioning special ed. kids---"see, they are proficient on the MEAP, they don't need help". i have heard this complaint from many of my colleagues.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 1:25 p.m.

I think you have to factor in the No Child Left Behind legislation. The need to meet those goals, more than anything else, encouraged (made mandatory) the teaching of all students during that time frame. PEG tried to get adults to question their personal biases and think how it influenced the interactions with people of other races.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

"To view test scores from various subgroups of students for the fall 2010 testing period, click here." which yields.......... Access to the OEAA Secure Site is limited to official school business. To obtain a User ID and Password, contact your District Administrator as designated by your Superintendent. You can also request the name of your District Administrator by sending an email to: Be sure to include your ISD and District name. Nice work.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

I am curious as to why these tests scores are simply reported as black or white. Aren't there other groups in the district or are those groups listed as white? It would seem to me a more accurate picture if test scores are reported by all groups to see how everyone compares to each other.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Probably because it would be embarrassing how well the Asians do?

Bill Sloan

Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

It would be interesting and instructive for an article to be written about outstanding successes among minority students enrolled in the Ann Arbor public schools. I know several.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

It's critical that we look at social-economic indicators and not just race. By defining the gap only in terms of race (and then only in terms of black or black/brown versus not) we are systematically ignoring those white or asian students that are disadvantaged. Is that equity?


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

Parenting is the primary issue. Just because you are born poor does not mean you cannot achieve. If you have parents that support, discipline and love you can achieve much. A couple interesting facts. 1. There are more poor white people than poor black people. 2. More than half the children being born in U.S. will be minorities. I believe reliance on the govt. for financial support leading to the disintegration of families is the primary cause for underachievement by children of all races.

Floyd Griffey

Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 10:27 a.m.

Nice chart... doesn't tell me a thing. 25 years ago 10 years ago, what were the scores? Show me scores to relate this year to the past, to know if we have improved, there must be concrete data to show that.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 10:21 a.m.

This is a nice summary. However it leaves out a number of groups in the schools. Asians, Native Americans, etc. We should not make schools a black vs white issue, in fact it would be nice if we forgot race completely and focused on the larger issues - 1) Economic status 2) Parents in the house (e.g. 1 or 2) 3) Parent's prior generation status (e.g. did they come from a low economic single parent household) These issues far more than race determine outcomes for children who are not 1st or 2nd generation immigrants. Racial focus is a distraction. While it is illegal to base programs purely on race, it is fully legal to base programs based on economic status. Changing the focus of programs in this way would reduce friction and build community support.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

When races quit addressing race as the single most important demographic criterion to assess achievement levels, then the real issues will come to light.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

Good post Don. Unfortunately the system is clueless and afraid. At some point there will be a realization that there is a lot more to take into consideration than race. When this will occur is anyone's guess.