At MAS, we believe that all students should be provided equal access to a high quality education. However, the reality of the situation is that in our country all students are provided access to education, however, the high quality standard is often a critical, but missing component. While our educational system intends to do extraordinary things by providing education to all students, the disparities in our current educational system cannot be ignored. Millions of children across the country and thousands of children right here in our community face unconscionable educational inequalities.
THE CURRENT REALITY…
Low-income, minority, and special populations of students including English language learners and students with disabilities, are not achieving at the same levels of educational performance as their peers. In the education world, this is known as the achievement gap. The achievement gap has serious implications for the future life opportunities of students and for society as a whole. When we fail to educate all children, the outcome is predictable: increased drop-out rates, poverty, crime, teen pregnancy, incarceration, decreased productivity, lack of adequate healthcare, and overall poorer quality of life. While the achievement gap is present throughout our country, the graphs below provide evidence of the achievement gap, ever present in our community.
DID YOU KNOW…
- According to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), American Indian, Black, and Hispanic students are two years behind other students by the end of 4th grade. By 8th grade, they have fallen three years behind, and by the time they reach the 12th grade, ethnic minorities are about four years behind their peers.
A recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that children who both live in poverty and read below grade level by 3rd grade are three times as likely to not graduate from high school as students who have never been poor.
- In 2005, the high school dropout rate of Hispanics was highest, followed by those of African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007).
- According to data reported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), graduation rates for students with disabilities are just over 32%.
- The consequences of under preparation in literacy are dire for all students, but for English language learners they are particularly grim. Latino English language learners, who comprise the largest group of ELLs, have the lowest graduation rate of all student subgroups (Ruiz-de-Velasco & Fix, 2000).
According to Editorial Projects in Education Research Center’s Annual Diplomas Count Report, while 82.7 percent of Asian students and 78.4 percent of White students in the class of 2008 graduated on time, that was the case for only 57.6 percent of Hispanic, 57 percent of Black, and 53.9 percent of American Indian students. Likewise, only 68 percent of male students graduated on time in 2008, compared with 75 percent of female students. Over the long term, only about one half of male students from minority backgrounds graduate on time (Education Week, 2011).
This achievement gap has been identified by many in the field of education as the greatest civil rights issue of our time. At MAS, our charter has been created around the knowledge and belief that the ever present achievement gap in our community and in this country can, and must be closed. At MAS, we make the commitment to the families and students that we serve to do our part to close this achievement gap, and in doing so, prepare our students for college and the competitive world. We commit to providing ALL students a high quality education that allows them the opportunity to pursue their dreams and only be limited by the limits of their own imagination. The achievement gap loses resistance when faced with the power of talented, hard working adults focused on the mission of the school who embrace our “no excuses, whatever it takes attitude” to ensure that the achievement gap is closed and that all students succeed. At MAS, it is our driving belief that we can eliminate educational inequity and close the achievement gap.
MAS’ CURRENT STANDING…
Below you will find PARCC scores for the 2015-2016 school year. MAS Charter School outperformed the State of New Mexico and comparative schools in both math and English Language Arts (ELA). Comparative schools are schools that serve students with a similar demographic to ours in regard to race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, student with disabilities, and English language learners. While we celebrate the fact that our 2015-2016 scores outperformed that of the State of New Mexico and our comparative schools, we recognize that we have plenty of room for improvement and with that; we commit to our students, their families, and the community that we will continue to do our part to close this achievement gap until it no longer exists.
Take a closer look at our Level 1, 3, and 4 data.
- We have on average 13% less students at beginning steps compared to the State of New Mexico and 39% less at beginning steps compared to a comparison school with a demographic similar to our demographic at MAS.
- We have on average 10% more students nearing proficient compared to the State of New Mexico and 17% more nearing proficient compared to a comparison school with a similar demographic to our demographic at MAS.
- We have on average 7% more students proficient compared to the State of New Mexico and 20% more compared to a comparison school with a demographic similar to our demographic at MAS.