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CHICAGO: Looking At The [Ugly] Numbers

Screenhunter_15_dec_17_235 I'm almost -- but not quite -- done trying to make sure everyone knows what has and hasn't happened in Chicago under Arne Duncan.

At left, you can see that Catalyst Chicago has gathered some numbers for the Duncan era in Chicago (2001-2007), including lots of low and/or flat data (Achievement ups and downs). It's not very pretty. 

The main increase, a rise in state elementary test scores, is largely attributed to changes in test rigor, format, and cut scores during this period -- not improved achievement.

Fourth grade NAEP scores put Chicago near the bottom of big city school districts -- just like it was seven years ago. Eighth grade scores are also unchanged, though relatively higher.

The other increase that Catalyst cites -- graduation rates -- I would question given recent studies showing how few CPS high school graduates enter (much less complete) college.

A 2006 study showed that just eight of 100 CPS freshmen earned a college degree by their mid-20s (PDF).   

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