(This is the third post in the Gering Series.)
Thanks to the DI implementation and lots of hard work by the district, Gering Public Schools has managed to close some of the achievement gaps between Hispanic students and white students. In Gering, Hispanics represent a substantial minority of students, nearly 30%.
Here are Kindergarten scores from the DIBELS phoneme segment fluency test for Hispanic and white students before and after the DI implementation.
As you can see, the percentage of Hispanic students passing the test as increased by an amount sufficient to close the achievement gap with the white students whose pass rate has also increased.
Here are second grade scores from the DIBELS oral fluency test for Hispanic and white.
Again, note that white students have made significant gains compared to previous cohorts, but Hispanics have made even greater gains--gains sufficient to create a reverse achievement gap.
Bear in mind that closing the gap with respect to the number of students passing the benchmark is not the same as closing the achievement gap with respect to absolute achievement scores. It could be that the scores of white students are still higher than the scores of Hispanic students. I don't have data to report either way, at least not yet. But, keep in mind that NCLB is concerned with the closing the gap between the percentage of students meeting benchmarks, not with absolute scores.
This is how NCLB is supposed to work. Schools are supposed to be improving instruction such that student achievement is improved for all groups with the effect that more students from lagging groups will pass the benchmark and close he gap. This is how it is working in Gering.