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CHICAGO: Former Allies Slam Duncan Education Record

I had all but given up on mainstream coverage of Arne Duncan's lackluster record "turning around" the Chicago Public Schools, but now a report from a business group long allied with the Mayor on school reform issues has come out slamming the district's record of achievement -- and Crain's Chicago has picked it up.

Arne DuncanChicago Public School reform largely has failed, reports Crain's political reporter Greg Hinz, based on a just-release report from the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club -- a longtime ally of the city in its reform efforts.

"The report directly challenges widespread claims by current and former CPS officials that local students have shown substantial progress over the last decade on standardized tests." 

In response, spokespeople for Arne Duncan cited improvements in 8th graders' performance, even after adjusting for the changes in the tests, and increases in ACT scores. Really?  That's all they have.


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Thanks for posting this. The traditional media has a pattern of uncritically covering "reformers" to whom they are ideologically sympathetic (See "Texas Miracle") while demanding evidence from the those now derisively termed defenders of the status quo (e.g. folks who actually know something about teaching.) So now in the absence of any evidence of actual improvement we are on the verge of launching a wave of Chicago style school closures and embracing merit pay to say nothing of doubling down a standards movement that can't actually point to success in preparing young people for college or work.

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