This is an excerpt of On Assignment, education writer Theresa Harrington's blog on Contra Costa County schools. Read more and post comments at IBABuzz.com/onassignment. Follow her at Twitter.com/tunedtotheresa.

April 5

This week, the student advocacy group Education Trust-West released its third annual report cards for the largest unified school districts in the state, showing how well they educate low-income and minority students. Here's a look at the Contra Costa County districts included in the report and whether or not they improved between 2011 and 2012. The organization awarded overall letter grades as well as numerical rankings for categories, based on standardized test scores, academic improvement over five years, the size of achievement gaps, and college readiness. Note: This was the first year the report included college readiness and high school graduation data.

ANTIOCH: Overall grade: D+ (up from D in 2011)

Performance among students of color: C (up from D in 2011)

Performance among low-income students: C (up from D in 2011)

Improvement among students of color: D (same, but rank of 128 up from 135)

Improvement among low-income students: D (same, but rank of 127 up from 129)

Achievement gap between African-American and white students: D (up from F)

Achievement gap between Latino and white students: B (up from C in 2011)

College eligibility among students of color: F (rank 135 of 142)

High school graduation among students of color: D (rank 129 of 143)

MT. DIABLO: Overall grade: D+ (up from D in 2011)

Performance among students of color: C (up from D in 2011)


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Performance among low-income students: C (up from D in 2011)

Improvement among students of color: C (same, but rank of 44 up from 63)

Improvement among low-income students: B (up from C in 2011)

Achievement gap between African-American and white students: F (same, rank up)

Achievement gap between Latino and white students: F (same, rank dropped)

College eligibility among students of color: F (rank 128 of 142)

High school graduation among students of color: C (rank 120 of 143)

PITTSBURG: Overall grade: C- (up from D+ in 2010) (No data from 2011)

Performance among students of color: C (up from D in 2010)

Performance among low-income students: C (same, rank of 107 up from 110)

Improvement among students of color: C (same, but rank dropped to 60 from 48)

Improvement among low-income students: C (but rank dropped to 61 from 48)

Achievement gap between African-American and white students: C (up from D)

Achievement gap between Latino and white students: B (up from C in 2010)

College eligibility among students of color: F (rank 134 of 142)

High school graduation among students of color: D (rank 137 of 143)

SAN RAMON VALLEY: Overall grade: B- (up from C+ in 2011)

Performance among students of color: A (same, but rank of 3 up from 4 in 2011)

Performance among low-income students: A (same, but rank of 5 up from 18)

Improvement among students of color: D (same, but rank of 136 up from 141)

Improvement among low-income students: C (but rank of 118 up from 119 in 2011)

Achievement gap between African-American and white students: C (up from D)

Achievement gap between Latino and white students: B (same, rank dropped)

College eligibility among students of color: B (rank 6 of 142)

High school graduation among students of color: A (rank 1 of 143)

WEST CONTRA COSTA: Overall grade: D- (down from D in 2011)

Performance among students of color: D (same, rank dropped to 148 from 145)

Performance among low-income students: D (same, rank dropped to 147 from 145)

Improvement among students of color: D (dropped from C in 2011)

Improvement among low-income students: D (down from C in 2011)

Achievement gap between African-American and white students: F (same, rank up)

Achievement gap between Latino and white students: F (same, rank dropped)

College eligibility among students of color: D (rank 69 of 142)

High school graduation among students of color: D (rank 130 of 143)

The complete report cards are at http://reportcards.edtrustwest.org.

How could districts improve instruction for low-income and minority students?