Another item that struck me about the public testimony given by the parents at last week’s School Board meeting was the insistence that the Academy of Alameda has raised test scores well beyond what the test scores that existed when the Academy of Alameda was Chipman Middle School. Several parents touted this as the reason why AoA was wonderful and one parent even stated that staff at AoA showed her the test score comparisons.
Now that would indeed be impressive if AoA were serving the exact same population of students as it did when it was Chipman Middle School. The sense that is conveyed based on anecdotal information and data from Ruby Bridges — which would have been the feeder elementary school to Chipman — is that the population of students at AoA is different. Not vastly different, but different when it comes to the segment of the population where there have been studies of a demonstrative achievement gap: the economically disadvantaged students.
One would think that if AoA were serving the same population of students as it did when it was Chipman then the demographics would look nearly identical. But that’s not what’s happening at AoA. The only subgroup that tracks perfectly for the economically disadvantaged students is Latino subgroup.
So it’s fine if AoA wants to talk about their test scores, but they need to do it in context of what the Chipman population was, as opposed to what AoA is now. If AoA argues that they are serving the same population as Chipman, then I (and others) would like to see that data. I’m sure that AoA has the data to show what the neighborhood elementary school of each student was as well as their ethnicity and their economic status (not economically disadvantaged vs economically disadvantaged).