G.F. Brandenburg has been analyzing the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress for the District of Columbia to understand the alleged “D.C. Miracle” attributed to Michelle Rhee, who was appointed in 2007 and left in 2010. Rhee was succeeded by her deputy Kaya Henderson, who pledged to protect her predecessor’s punitive policies. Rhee and Henderson (and their successors) were appointed as a result of mayoral control, mimicking New York City’s alleged “miracle” (which seems to have disappeared when Mayor Bloomberg left office).

Brandenburg concludes, based on a 10-year track record, that mayoral control benefited the children of college graduates, not the children of high school dropouts.

The reason to replace the elected board with mayoral control, he writes, was to help the least advantaged students. Instead, it was the most advantaged students who saw the greatest gains.

This is proof, he says, that “education reform” is “a complete failure.”

Let me point out the obvious: white parents in DC are overwhelmingly college-educated. Those in DC who did not graduate from high school, or who graduated from 12th grade and went no further, are overwhelmingly African-American or Hispanic. So our ‘reforms’ have had a disproportionately negative impact on black and hispanic students, and a positive one on white kids.