Delaware student test results confirm plight of low-income students

Delaware student test results confirm plight of low-income students

July 28, 2017

By Jessica Bies – The News Journal

Repetition may be a core element of education, but in the case of Wilmington, where state test scores are once again among some of the lowest in the state, the lesson is clear: Low-income students are still being left behind.

“We’ve kind of gotten into this cycle of high poverty, high-needs schools in Wilmington, and that trajectory has been pretty consistent,” said Elizabeth Lockman, a Wilmington parent and vice chair of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, a state advisory committee formed to explore ways of improving education in the city.

“While I don’t think tests by any means are the end all be all, I don’t think we’re setting these kids up to be successful members of society.”

Most notably, Bayard Middle School has seen no gains in math, remaining at a 3 percent proficiency level. There was a 1-point loss in English, bringing the proficiency level down to 8 percent.

“I think anybody who says they’re shocked would be being disingenuous,” Lockman said.

She certainly isn’t surprised. Her daughter spent kindergarten through sixth grade at what would later become another priority school, Highlands Elementary.

Part of the Red Clay district, it saw a 2-point gain in math this year, but a 3-point loss in English.

“The period of time (my daughter) attended, the poverty was climbing every year,” Lockman said. “And the challenge that presented and the way it exponentially increased was palpable.”

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