Erin Dillon over at the The Quick and the Ed points out how Walt Whitman High School, an otherwise strong school, had an atrocious pass rate for African Americans in Algebra on the Maryland High School Assessment exam. Only 33% of Walt Whitman's Walt Whitman's African Americans passed in 2006, down from 38.5% in 2005 and 55.6% in 2004. Of course what Erin fails to mention, is that there are only 15 African American students at Walt Whitman High School. In fact, since 2002 exactly 5 African Americans have passed the Algebra test. The only difference is that the number of African Americans taking the test has varied from 9 to 17. If we look at data from 2003, it now appears as if Walt Whitman has increased its African American pass rate from by 4%. How did I find out this information... hours and hours of exhaustive research... no... I just hit the detail button on the chart that Erin linked to. Now I'm not expert at statistics, but it seems to me that this is a tiny sample size to make an informed judgment on. I am a firm believer in making education decisions based on numbers and research, but even a layman like me can see that you need a large enough sample of students to make these decisions. Perhaps Walt Whitman is neglecting its African American students but then again, perhaps Walt Whitman is just a victim of a statistical blip.