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DUNCAN: Correcting The Record On Improvement, Excellence, & Cooperation

I really don't enjoy dumping on Duncan all the time, but there's just a lot of misinformation going on about him that needs correcting:

Bad_apple_small_2The claim is being made that CPS test scores have gone up every year, but left out is that the state has changed its test items, rigor, etc. several times along the way.  See recent stories: CPS "Requests" Changes To 2008 High School Composite Scores.

NAEP and the Broad Prize, the two closest things that education has to a Nobel Prize, both show that Duncan's CPS is not even among the best big-city school districts in the nation (Not Even A Bridesmaid).

The claim has been made that Duncan can work with teachers unions when in fact there is frighteningly little evidence of this.  The latest contract includes no real collaboration or innovation.  The incentive pay program Chicago has is a 20-school federal pilot that was agreed to in a controversial letter by CTU president Marilyn Stewart just after she was elected to office (see story here)


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I hope Duncan does know how to work with teachers. We need a leader who understands what the teacher does in classrooms.

so is it fair to say that in some ways, Duncan is a facsimile of Obama? A man with limited experience in the trial, whose dubious qualifications are overwhelmed by his apparent personal appeal? I ask this, by the way, as an Obama supporter. I don't mean to condemn either of them, but instead to wonder if this isn't a familiar theme.

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