ACT Struggles Revisited

As mentioned  in yesterday’s post, “achievement gaps are neither new nor unique,” particularly as it relates to race and class. What’s troubling is that for more than a decade we’ve unsuccessfully aligned, boosted, and restructured standards to ensure every student exiting Metro Schools’ doors leaves with a minimum of 21 on the ACT.

Unable to sleep, I googled my way down memory lane to refresh the old thinker on the district’s ACT struggles from the not too distant past. Take a look:

Blog post from Kay Brooks who served a brief stint as school board member – May 1, 2006:

“Regarding College Entrance the goal is to have 65% of the students meeting the college entrance requirement (mostly via ACT score of 19 and above) by 2007. It’s only at 57% to date with new data not available until the fall. It became obvious that it was unlikely, considering the past rates, that this goal was going to be met.”

2001 46%
2002 46.2%
2003 49.2%
2004 48.7%
2005 51%


Nashville Scene’s Liz Garrigan article March 22, 2007:

“…the recently released Citizens Panel Report Card, researched and written by a diverse group of Nashvillians under the auspices of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

…it offered a mild dressing down of the system for the widening gap in achievement between rich and poor, white and black, and “the lag of academic success at the high school level and the high rate of suspensions of African American students,”


Local blogger ElyssaD whose 2010 Reality Bytes post is surprisingly similar to my “solemn story” entry:

“If, as stated in Wednesday’s article, the ACT is a curriculum-based measure of readiness in English, mathematics, reading and science, then all these scores show us is that we have failed in our mission to provide an adequate education for all our citizens.
I am not sure exactly what readiness is, but I am certain that our schools are failing miserably at educating those children who need us the most. Let’s level the playing field for a change and start talking about equity in education if we truly expect teachers to leave no child behind, we must first give them the tools they need to move forward.”

Let that marinate.  To be continued…

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