FCPS enjoys a national reputation for excellence. Certainly, on the surface, it is a school system that deserves all the praise. But it doesn’t take much scratching to see that all that glitters is not gold. At least not for COTS kids…
FCPS has identified 3 primary achievement goals that direct its delivery of programs
Goal 1: Pursue Academic Excellence
Goal 2: Develop Essential Life Skills
Goal 3: Demonstrate Responsibility to the Community and the World
Every year, Monitoring Reports are provided to the School Board on each of these goals. By scouring these lengthy and data dense reports, you can find the persisting disparities in achievement between African American and Latino students and their White and Asian counterparts. It is incredibly important to recognize that these disparities cannot be simply explained away by poverty and socio-economic disadvantage.
The “Proficiency Myth”
Don’t be fooled by data that shows the achievement gaps in FCPS have closed. Such claims focus on “proficiency” as a measure. This is actually “minimum proficiency”– a C or a D. Getting COTS kids across the minimum proficiency threshold is not enough! We want the best for our kids too. They must be proportionately represented at the highest levels of academic achievement. Otherwise, they will be left behind. Double digit achievement gaps persist at the “advance pass” rates on the SOLs. Advance Pass isn’t about vanity or “pridefulness.” Its about our kids’ future and their ability to compete professionally in the long term in our global economy. More than any other indicator, “advance pass rates” show likelihood of college success. Don’t believe us? Read pages 22-23 in the most recent “Passages” report released by FCPS in June 2014.
Read the Reports
Goal 1 Report: http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/docs/monitoring%20reports/2013-2014/sags/sag1/goal1-narrative-2013.pdf
Goal 2 Report: http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/docs/monitoring%20reports/2013-2014/sags/sag2/goal2-narrative-2014.pdf
Goal 3 Report: http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/docs/monitoring%20reports/2013-2014/sags/sag3/goal3-narrative-2014.pdf
Passages Report: http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fairfax/Board.nsf/files/9KRQP967ADB3/$file/Passages2014.pdf