Here's an abbreviate recap of the discussion at today's Wake County school board retreat.
At Superintendent Tony Tata's request, the board agreed to set target performance goals for individual subgroups as opposed to a specific systemwide goal. Tata will consult with staff and come back with a draft of the specific numbers for the targets. (It's a variation on the goals set by the prior boards.)
This came amid a discussion in which Tata said a new audit will show Wake isn't closing the achievement gap.
On Tuesday, a team from Harvard University will present a report on Wake's achievement gaps. It's one of the three free audits being provided by the Broad Superintendents Academy.
Tata said the audit will show that there's been no measurable closure of the achievement gap.
Supporters of the old diversity policy have pointed to the recent gains in passing rates on state exams for minority groups to argue that the achievement gap has been shrinking. They say this shows Wake was moving in the right direction and didn't need to change the assignment policy.
But Tata said the auditors looked the raw scale scores for the exams and didn't see a closure of the gap.
Tata said the audit shows the need to aggressively use the predictive capabilities of EVAAS to place minority students in the appropriate classes, as has happened with middle school math this year,. He said it's a key to closing the achievement gap.
The board wrapped up the meeting early at noon.
When Tata reports back on the subgroup goals, he'll also indicate what impact they'd have if reached on systemwide performance. He said they'll discuss then whether to set a districtwide performance goal as well.
Click here to view the handout from the meeting.