Saturday, October 01, 2011
Arnie Duncan's Legacy Is The Same As Joel Klein's. Failed Education Reforms And A Widening Income/Racial Achievement Gap As A Result Of Their Failures
The University of Chicago did an extensive and long-term twenty year study on the Chicago Public Schools and found that the various education reforms had failed to improve public education. Most disturbingly, was an actual widening of the income/racial achievement gap during the Arnie Duncan "diversification" Administration. Yes the very same Arnie Duncan who is now the head of the Federal Department of Education and President Obama's basketball buddy. The Chicago study questioned the almost exclusive use of the State tests as the basis of student achievement and found that the State test was a poor indicator of student academic achievement.
The University of Chicago study found that over the twenty year study the Chicago elementary scores showed no improvement in Reading and only a marginal improvement in Math. In fact, the major improvements actually occurred in the higher achieving affluent neighborhood school, while the struggling high poverty neighborhood schools showed the least amount of progress. Interestingly, the constant education reform of test preparation did show some academic progress for the high schools. However, due to the "cut scores" on the State tests student academic achievement could not be easily identified and did not show up in the statistics.
The conclusion by the University of Chicago was that reliance on the State tests and "cut scores" along with continuous "test preparation" does not determine real academic achievement. Instead, the report came up with these items that were correlated with student academic achievement:
The consortium said that schools that showed growth were strong in the five pillars they had identified as being crucial to success — instructional leadership, adequate professional support, ambitious instruction, a good learning climate, and strong community and family ties.
It would seem that the legacy of the Arnie Duncan Administration is closely tied to the legacy of the Joel Klein Administration. Fuzzy math, over reliance on dubious State tests, constant test preparation, and worst of all a widening student income/racial academic achievement gap during their failed Administrations.