But advocates for the neighborhood schools point out that when you break down the scores, there is room for students to excel. White students score higher than first-generation Latinos, they say. Advocates hope that fact can entice some white Mesa Verde parents hesitant to put their children in classes alongside immigrant children, some of whom are just learning English.
Test scores, though, aren't a very good indicator of a school's worth anyway, some experts say.
"That is not the only measure of quality that you want to look at," Barbara Tye said. Parents should visit a school and get a "feel, rather than seeing a score on a page," she said.
Adams and TeWinkle teachers are top-quality and can help any child excel, say parents with kids enrolled there already, adding that to focus on test scores is shortsighted.