I stared at the tweet, dumbfounded.
Houston: 2013 Broad Prize finalist?
That can’t be.
I had recently dug through old city-level NAEP results. They were all terribly depressing.
But Houston’s stopped me cold.
Somehow it had won the 2002 Broad Prize (for supposed urban district excellence) despite dreadfully low performance. Worse, its scores are virtually unchanged nearly a decade later.
It’s being honored again?
This is what earns an urban district Broad Prize–finalist status?
San Diego is also a finalist and also participates in TUDA. So off I went searching for its data.
Maybe it will be better; Houston was probably just a mistake.
San Diego’s overall scores are slightly better than the appallingly low “large-city” average (8th reading, 27 percent vs. 23 percent). But it has considerably fewer low-income students than other participating cities: 61 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch; in Cleveland it’s 100 percent; Dallas, 85 percent; Chicago and Baltimore, 84 percent.
Hmm. Does San Diego still have an advantage if we compare similar cohorts of students?
No. Its performance is as heartbreakingly low.
In Houston and San Diego, about one in ten African American eighth graders can read proficiently. Their low-income students do only the smallest bit better.