In D.C. Schools, an ironic use of data points

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I agree with D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's spokeswoman, Jennifer Calloway, who in discussing the apparent stalled progress on narrowing the achievement gap between black and white students cautioned about making judgments on the basis of a single year's data ["Progress stalls in closing gaps in D.C. schools," front page, Aug. 27].

Ms. Calloway said: "Any one single data point -- or change in a single data point over one year -- is not sufficient to make overall conclusions about progress . . . to only consider one year would not accurately portray what has happened."

That being the case, I find it highly ironic and most problematic that the chancellor did not hesitate to use data from a single year to dismiss teachers.

Joan Baratz Snowden, Washington

The writer is a consultant for educational organizations, including teachers' unions.

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