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    Rainier View and Olympic Hills in the Top 1 Percent Nationally for Achievement of Low Income Students
    Posted on 05/24/2018
    This is the image for the news article titled Rainier View and Olympic Hills in the Top 1 Percent Nationally for Achievement of Low Income Students

    A recent report from GreatSchools and Education Cities provides the first nationally comparative measure of academic performance of students from low-income families. The Education Equality Index (EEI) uses the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to adjust for the level of rigor of each state’s test, creating a nationally comparative measure of achievement for each school. The EEI calculations use state standardized test scores for tested students who are identified as eligible for free or reduced-price lunches (FRL).  The method adjusts scores based on the concentration of poverty at a school, and calculates an index score on a 1-100 scale.  Data were collected from 45 states and over 55,000 schools across the nation from the 2010-11 through the 2014-15 school years.

    The report highlights 400 schools in the 300 largest U.S. cities where the performance of low-income students is in the top 1 percent of schools nationally based on their EEI Score. While these schools are bright spots, the report reveals that, overall, the performance of low-income students at most schools still lags far behind their advantaged peers. In 2015, amongst large cities, at only 4 percent of schools did the average low-income student perform above the national average for non-low-income students.

    Both Rainier View Elementary and Olympic Hills Elementary were among the top 1 percent of schools nationally for the achievement of students from low income families. Among elementary schools in the 300 largest cities, Rainier View’s EEI score was the 52nd highest in the nation (41st if charter schools and magnet schools are excluded), and Olympic Hills’s EEI score was the 66th highest (51st excluding charter and magnet schools).

    Subsequent recent research conducted by REA, in partnership with the SPS Mathematics Department, has identified key common practices behind the success of these two schools. At both schools, there is a clear and strong leadership vision to eliminate student opportunity gaps. School staff have developed a strong sense of collective efficacy and shared purpose for eliminating gaps, which undergirds their professional commitment to collaborative planning using formative assessments and flexible small group instruction to differentiate learning based on student needs. Teachers at both schools have developed deep expertise and understanding of mathematical concepts and learning progressions articulated by the state standards. Both schools have successfully created structured, positive learning cultures with high student engagement across their classrooms. Adults maintain strong positive beliefs and high expectations for all students, and build personal relationships to build student confidence and self-efficacy, and a learning mindset that embraces challenge, making mistakes, and critical thinking. These success factors for eliminating gaps in mathematics will detailed in a forthcoming report.

    Download the full report:

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