Goals, timeline lacking in program to narrow racial achievement gap

Two years ago, Xpress reported on the hope-filled 2017 kickoff of an effort to address huge disparities between the achievement of black and white students in Asheville City Schools.

Then-Superintendent Pamela Baldwin asked the school board to support the selection of Integrated Comprehensive Systems for Equity, based in Wisconsin, which she said was the only system “that actually addresses the specific components of an educational system to address the gaps and needs of children and teachers in our community.”

But since the city’s work with ICS Equity began, the problem has gotten worse instead of better. Data assembled by the N.C. Youth Justice Project, which analyzes academic and discipline data for all of the state’s 115 school districts, shows that reading, math and science scores for Asheville’s black students in grades three-eight were the lowest of any district in North Carolina last year.

Xpress asked Baldwin’s successor, current Superintendent Denise Patterson, about the status of the ICS Equity program at the end of the second year of a three-year contract, with over $100,000 spent on consulting fees and materials to date.

See the full story at mountainx.com.