Racial achievement disparity in Huntsville schools - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Racial achievement disparity in Huntsville schools

By Jack Madison – bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - According to statistical analysis conducted by the Huntsville NAACP Education Committee's Chair, the Huntsville City School District has a huge gap between black and white students.

Dr. John Dimmock based the findings on his evaluation of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama's breakdown scores on state administered math and reading tests for 3rd through 8th grade students.

Using the last available scores, Dimmock reported 67.4 percent of white students passed the tests, while only 26.8 percent of black students passed. The forty point gap is the biggest in the state. A thirty-nine point gap between non-poor and poor students passing the tests also is the state's largest difference.

Dimmock, a physicist, said he can only speculate on the reasons for the disparity.

"If a school system is spending that kind of money that it doesn't have, you would think it would be built more successfully than it really is," Dimmock said.

"The bottom line is how well are you doing in preparing these students for adulthood. That's where we should be measuring things," Dimmock added.

The Schools Foundation commissioned the PARCA data he utilized. The non-profit group works with Huntsville, Madison, and Madison County School systems an outside entity.

The Schools Foundation's Executive Director Debbie Beaupre said the group has initiated Speak Up, a grass roots effort to pull together parents, teachers, students or anyone else with ideas on how to improve public education.

"If you want to impact change in the community, bring people together and ask them what they want. And what they think it will take to get what they want then you've created a movement," Beaupre said.

She added people can meet in small discussion groups or larger forums. For more information about Speak Up and The Schools Foundation, see the links provided below.

To look at results from the PARCA findings, click the link below for Performance Comparisons for Schools in Madison County.    

Related links:

Speak Up 

The Schools Foundation


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