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Yesterday NJ Ed Report published a short article after Newark officials released new information on the academic gains of students who attend Newark district schools. The article was based on a report from Chalkbeat Newark, which reproduced a series of charts presented to the Newark School Board at its last meeting.
The district’s charts are deceptive: any casual observer would assume students were doing quite well. Here is the chart the Board saw in the district’s presentation on how many students were expected to be proficient in math by the end of the school year:
Looks pretty good, right? But if you examine it more closely you see that the x-axis–the length of the bars in the graph–is distorted. If the range of student outcomes starts at 0% proficiency and runs to 100%, the bar should not go so far to the right for single-digit outcomes.
Kyle Rosenkrans of the NJ Children’s Foundation helpfully corrected the district’s error. On the left is the chart with an undistorted x-axis. The district’s version is on the right:
Slightly different story, right? Superintendent Roger Leon should know better.