My response inspired by this post: http://blackandmarriedwithkids.com/2011/05/04/house-hunting-for-education/
I'm glad this is posted because I find black people in America incredibly ignorant as parents of the aggression and ambition they need to have on behalf of their kids to ensure a successful educational experience. They seem to think sitting in the hood waiting on an A-class school to fall in their lap is their God-given right. Um no, find where the good schools are and get in the zone. Next set of ignorance are the ones that don't even know what a good school looks like. Don't know how to analyze the data, don't know that schools will game the system to get an A rating and as you said it's about looking at how the school has performed over the years, not just the last year or two. I would say since schools now game the ratings, be specific and look at what PERCENT of their students are passing the reading, writing, math, and science state-wide standardized testing at or above grade level. Most of the answers to that should be 90% and above. If a school falls below 80% minimum in any of these areas...they are not an A school! Our children can't produce 70% on something and get an A, 70% is a C, so grade the schools accordingly. Most of the black schools in the last county I analyzed, were in the 50% to 60% range...and lower. That huge chunk of kids NOT learning, what are they doing? Being a menace to the rest of the class and a bad influence on MY child. Um, no. I'll pass. Because one of the biggest problems is not weapons in schools but BEHAVIOURS in schools. And I have seen enough of some of these parents to know where they get it from. I have friends who are teachers who are getting told by the kid that his parent will "whip her ass" and when she calls the parent, the parent is saying the same thing! Excuse me? If all the teacher's energy is drained controlling/raising problem children like that, there is nothing left over to truly teach and instill or reinforce a love of learning in children who are brought up much better than that.
Black people need to get over waiting on the government to solve all their problems and get SMART. In a more technical and fast paced world it is going to take SMARTER more INTELLIGENT parents to get these kids ahead...and unfortunately a lot of parents are dumb and raising kids dumber.