In Ohio’s NCLB waiver, the state proposes a new accountability measure—the gap closure indicator—which would hold schools accountable for narrowing achievement gaps. Referring to the well-known disparity in Black/Hispanic and White/Asian test scores, the gap closure indicator would measure how well students from different racial groups perform on its standardized tests. In a data simulation of how Ohio schools would fare under this new accountability measure, the Ohio Department of Education found that 890, or one-quarter of schools, would receive a 100 percent rating.
In a blog earlier this month, we wondered aloud about whether these extremely high ratings (100 percent) for so many schools accurately reflect how well these schools narrow racial achievement gaps. We posed the question: Could some of these schools have an all- or mostly-White student population—with simply no achievement gap to close in the first place? It’s conceivable that, without multiple racial subgroups, all-White schools could receive a 100 percent rating with little or no effort, so long as its White students perform well.
To answer this question, we dig deeper into the racial composition of these 100-percent-rated schools. Using a random number generator, we randomly sampled 89 of the 890 Ohio schools that received a 100 percent rating for gap closure. When we examined these schools’ racial composition, here’s what we found:
Figure 1: Average racial composition of 100 percent-rated gap closure schools
(Source: Ohio Department of Education simulated data and authors' calculations)