FUSD looks into low grade from study

June 3, 2011 

Fresno Unified School District got a D grade in the Education Trust-West study, but district officials say they continue working hard to close the gaps.

Information in the study was extremely general, said Dave Calhoun, executive director of research and evaluation for Fresno Unified.

He said the district works with Education Trust-West and considers it a reputable organization, but the study only skimmed the surface.

"We have already dug more deeply into the numbers than they have been able to do," Calhoun said. "We have been trying to solve the question of how we create success for all our students. We look to take what we can from a report like this but also recognize its limitations."

Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson said the study is limited because it did not separately evaluate English learners, who make up 24% of the district's students.

"We are not seeing dramatic across-the-board impacts [in closing achievement gaps], but what we are seeing is promising movement," Hanson said.

The reporter can be reached at mbenjamin@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6166.

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