"Ms. Perry told me that she was at a school with declining test scores, an increasing minority status, and very high poverty."
What does "minority status" mean?
"The school's scores on state standardized testing were generally around the fiftieth percentile in reading, in the high twenties for writing."
Does "the fiftieth percentile" mean that there are 50% of the students who passed the exam?
Does "high twenties" mean averagely the students get about 20 in writing?
i would think 'increasing minority status' would refer to an increasing % of minorities, although that's a slightly peculiar way to word it
percentile refers to your position relative to everyone else. In this case, their reading scores were better than 50% of the schools who took the exam and their writing was better than 20% of the schools who took the exam (or looking at it the other way, 80% of schools scored higher than this school, thus their writing scores were really bad)