Research: Who's To Blame For The Chicago Illusion?
A new study out of the University of Chicago finds that reported test score increases over 20 years of decentralization and mayoral control were largely illusory, produced by changes in testing, minimum requirements, and other statistical gimmicks rather than any real dramatic improvements that were being claimed at the time. Reading scores in particular have been stagnant, and the acheivement gap has gooten worse. Who's to blame for the poor showing and deceptive reporting? It wasn't Duncan's fault: "By no means did we ever then or now declare mission accomplished.” It wasn't Paul Vallas's, either" "I don't know what planet [the UofC researchers] are on." The state did it, says Duncan advisor Peter Cunningham: " If anything this is a challenge to the state of Illinois to come up with a better test." That leaves just two remaining culprits: NCLB and teachers. Yes, that's it. It was the federal government and the fat cat teachers who did it. Or maybe the testing companies, too. Click below to see the contrasting charts, etc.
The Sun Times coverage focuses on the deceptiveness of what gets reported, how many changes that have been made to testing over the yers and asks some questions about the study methods.