Monday, March 13, 2017

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Not buying this NYT piece about how Rahm's principals fixed Chicago schools

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Not buying this NYT piece about how Rahm's principals fixed Chicago schools:

Not buying this NYT piece about how Rahm's principals fixed Chicago schools

The principals that are making gains are making them, not because of the system, but in spite of CPS. -- Principals Assoc. Pres. Troy LaRavier 
I'm not sure who in Rahm Emanuel's oversized City Hall PR Dept. planted this story in the New York Times, but kudos to them for getting this piece of fluff  past the fact checkers and custodians of common sense. Peter Cunningham swears it wasn't him, but I congratulated him anyway.

The Op-ed by David Leonhardt, "Want to Fix Schools, Go to the Principal's Office" focuses on Chicago and gives all the credit to the mayor and CPS super-principals for the district's supposed "fastest in the nation" gains in student achievement, rising graduation rates and lower dropout rates.

Using cherry-picked data, he makes a case that Chicago is on or near the top of the nation's public schools, even while 85% of its students continue to live in poverty and the entire district teeters on the brink of financial collapse.

In other words, Leonhardt is whistling past the graveyard. He's over his head when it comes to writing about education in Chicago.

All this reminds me of the Arne Duncan, Chicago Miracle  in 2008, when no success claim about turnaround schools was ludicrous enough to be challenged by a compliant media.

As for fewer dropouts and spiraling graduation rates, I'd love to believe the reports but don't know how anybody can, given CPS's history of deception in reporting such data.

Remember when in 2015 they were forced to lower the official high school graduation rate following revelations that thousands of dropouts were being misclassified as "transfers"?

According to the NPR report:

At just 25 CPS high schools, more than 1,000 students were mislabeled as moving out of town or going to private schools. But they had 
Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Not buying this NYT piece about how Rahm's principals fixed Chicago schools:


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