The District of Columbia stands out in a lot of ways, but one of the most distinctive is its racial disparities. Few cities in the country (and no states) can compare with its overwhelmingly high income younger white residents:
In spite of all the hype a few years back when Michelle Rhee took over the DC Public Schools as a hard driving reformer, it turns out that hard driving reform has been very good for the school performance of DC’s white kids and kind of meh for poorer black and Hispanic kids. DC has the highest performing white students, according the Stanford Education Data Archive, of the 2,000 largest counties in the country, and roughly average performing black and Hispanic students:
You can’t blame the schools for this, but it does show the big problem with the theory behind Rhee-style ed reform, which was that achievement gaps would be eliminated because you would push poor black and Hispanic kids to work so hard they would make up whatever ground they had lost pre-schooling. It turns out that, in a world where parents are terrified about their kids’ outcomes and education seems to be the only ticket to a secure life, middle class parents will push their kids even harder.
Now, maybe that ends up with everybody learning more- it’s possible! Or maybe it ends up with kids across the board a little or a lot more stressed out, and not so much to show for it.
Here’s the rest of the top 10 larger counties for each race; mostly not too many surprises, apart from DC and Orleans Parish, LA, which is New Orleans. My guess is that because New Orleans turned almost all its schools into charter schools that got shelved as the Recovery School District and weren’t counted with the Orleans Parish results, the remainder are the bourgie schools that didn’t get converted and attract New Orleans’s ever-growing group of gentrifiers.
|Top Performing Large Counties for…||Black Students||White Students||Asian Students||Hispanic Students|
|1||Morris County, NJ||District of Columbia||Somerset County, NJ||Hamilton County, IN|
|2||Fayette County, GA||Orange County, NC||Forsyth County, GA||Forsyth County, GA|
|3||Hamilton County, IN||Montgomery County, MD||Warren County, OH||Clay County, FL|
|4||Washington County, MN||Fulton County, GA||Orange County, NJ||Porter County, IN|
|5||Collin County, TX||Orleans Parish, LA||Fulton County, GA||Chesapeake City, VA|
|6||Hendricks County, IN||Dekalb County, GA||Mercer County, NJ||Morris County, NJ|
|7||Gwinnett County, GA||Arlington County, VA||Chester County, PA||Broward County, FL|
|8||Williamson County, TN||Mecklenburg County, NC||Middlesex County, NJ||Norfolk County, MA|
|9||Fairfield County, OH||Howard County, MD||Hunterdon County, NJ||Douglas County, CO|
|10||Bergen County, NJ||Worcester County, MD||Wake County, NC||St. John’s County, FL|