|Duncan rode the myth of the Chicago "miracle" all the way to D.C.|
Each campaign, from Renaissance 2010, to Turnaround Schools, was supposed to produce big gains in measurable "student achievement." The mayor's hand-picked, politically faithful school CEOs, from Paul Vallas, to Arne Duncan, to Ron Huberman, were all quick to make claims of miracle "turnarounds." Duncan even rode the myth of Chicago "miracle" all the way to Washington.
But facts are stubborn fellows, as they say, and now comes news that nearly half of all Illinois public school students failed the annual 11th grade Prairie State Achievement Exam, the worst statewide performance recorded in the test's history. This news comes on the heels of a report from the Consortium on Chicago Schools Research, showing, "No real progress in CPS grade school reading in 20 years."
The latest results not only show the bankruptcy of corporate-style school reform in Chicago, but the failure of No Child Left Behind as well. Chicago's failure to meet NCLB standards makes the district part of the 80 percent nationwide who are anticipated to be left behind.
I can already predict the mayor's response. Instead of calling for an end to the testing madness, Rahm will likely claim that the dismal scores are the result of schools not implementing HIS longer-school-day reform. Maybe he can name it, Renaissance 90 Minutes.
Isn't it time to rethink the whole notion of mayoral control of the schools?