Using the latest test data, the conservative John Locke Foundation is challenging the argument that the diversity policy is giving an extra boost to Wake County's academic performance.
In a press release today, Terry Stoops, education policy analyst for the Locke Foundation, says the data shows that Wake's academic gains this year lagged behind those of the state's other urban districts. Diversity policy supporters have been trumpeting test gains to argue that the school board majority shouldn't have discarded the policy.
Stoops uses the previously released preliminary No Child Left Behind data. But Stoops said his analysis is also based on an a leaked copy of the state ABCs of Public Education test results.
The ABCs data will be officially released Aug. 5.
In terms of the federal No Child Left Behind program, Stoops notes that 38 percent of Wake's schools met adequate yearly progress standards. That compares to 59 percent in Guilford County, 58 percent in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and 54 percent in Winston-Salem/Forsyth.
As for the still secret ABCs results, Stoops said the data he received shows that Wake's growth on state end-of-grade and end-of-course tests trailed growth in CMS, Guilford and Winston-Salem.
"Wake County's test scores are improving, but no one could look at these numbers and say that Wake is exceeding other large North Carolina school systems in speeding improvement," Stoops said. "People who argue that Wake's recently discarded forced busing policy produced benefits for students might want to rethink their arguments after studying these numbers."