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It needs to be recognized by the community that in his recent letter to the Washington City Paper (The Mail, 6/23, 6/30), Christopher McKeon made reckless and confusing claims about the academic performance and test scores at Ross Elementary. In fact, he was misinformed about educational standards in the District in general. Following is actual data from the most recently available test scores from the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Contrary to McKeon’s assertion, Ross Elementary is among the highest achieving schools in the crucial academic marker of third-grade reading. Here are the spring 2005 comparative scores for third-grade reading of Ross and a few neighboring schools:

Ross: 83rd percentile

Hyde: 80th percentile

Janney: 89th percentile

Marie Reed: 35th percentile

Adams: 56th percentile

Stoddert: 71st percentile

And while our third-grade math scores aren’t at the very top, we are No. 7 out of the 30 Division 3 schools. Here are comparable scores for third-grade math:

Ross: 78th percentile

Hyde: 91st percentile

Janney: 92nd percentile

Reed: 58th percentile

Adams: 67th percentile

Stoddert: 76th percentile

McKeon also incorrectly asserts that Ross Elementary is a “remedial” school. As reading scores for third graders clearly show, Ross students are working at grade level or above, even with a number of students who begin with little or no English. Here is a comparison among the neighboring schools of the percentage third-grade readers scoring below basic:

Ross: 0 percent

Hyde: 4.5 percent

Janney: 1.69 percent

Reed: 34.15 percent

Adams: 21.21 percent

Stoddert: 0 percent

Never has there been a stronger community of parents and teachers at Ross Elementary committed to excellence. Our retiring principal, Gloria Smith, undeterred by petty politics, kept her eye on the ball—student achievement and attracting new members of the community to Ross. Thanks to Smith’s fierce determination and energy, the current formula for success is in place. We expect the strong performances to continue steadily and carry on through the upper grades. For additional information, including scores yet to come out of the 2005-2006 school year, please contact PTA President Frank Johnston (fej90@verizon.net) or LSRT member Rich Hancuff (cuff@gwu.edu).

Frank Johnston

PTA President

Richard Hancuff

LSRT member