Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NAEP Outside NYC and George Schmidt Response

From a contact embedded in an urban school system administrative operation:

Hi Norm,

I mentioned several months ago that I might be helpful in preparing some analyses from the NAEP TUDA math results. Here are some bits from NYC, Washington DC, and Chicago.
It seems like the NYC story has been pretty well covered by the media, but the DC and Chicago stories have not. In both DC and Chicago, there are significant racial disparities in test score gains, with black kids making the least progress in both cities. In DC, the scores of 8th grade black kids dropped, and black 4th graders in DC made much smaller gains that whites. The Chicago story is similar.

Given how both Rhee and Duncan (like your own dearly beloved Joel Klein) love to rhapsodize over "closing the gap," these results seem to be fairly damning.

I sent it to George Schmidt who sent this response:


Norm and friends:

You can share this as widely or narrowly as you want. As usual, you can "use my name."

Thanks for the NAEP heads up. We can run it if someone makes it into a more coherent article, without mentioning any "names." Let me know.

There is enough craziness here in Chicago to fill the rest of the Obama term, only now it's being exported to the entire USA. By the way, as I've already reported, the destruction of Chicago's public schools, which is much further advanced than New York or D.C. based on the same master plan, has also included so much simple old fashioned political corruption that it will take us ten years just to dig out the Arne Duncan era. You can re-read Susan Ohanian's final version of Jerry Bracey's investigation of the "Save-A-Life Foundation" (SALF) at Substance or at Susan's Web site, but remember, that's the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

By my estimate, during the Duncan years Chicago Public Schools doubled the number of no-bid contracts for everything from simple commodities to the most expensive (privatized) computer systems. "Save-A-Life..." was just almost a sideshow. The Big Show is massive privatization.

And of course it was all done behind the smokescreen of the "emergency" in the school system (now 14 years old, since the Amendatory Act established mayoral control here in Chicago) that required special ongoing anti-democratic powers for the mayor and his appointed schools chief and school board.

The (probably a suicide) death of our school board president (Michael Scott) less than a month after President Obama dispatched Eric Holder to Chicago to try and keep the lid the growing Chicago scandals (that's a plural) ranging from simplistic old style corruption like SALF all the way to the surrender of large chunks of Chicago (and the schools, especially high schools) to the drug gangs (you can Google "People" and "Folks" to get some idea of how deep the problem now is here; Mexico is comparable) dramatized the situation again. Holder ordered that Michael Scott (President of the Chicago Board of Education) not be photographed with him (the Attorney General of the USA) while he was in town. Scott, for all the crocodile tears after his death, was one of the most pernicious servants of corporate "school reform" right up to his death, promoting school closings and charterizations at levels New York is just beginning to experience.

Here is the latest big thing to watch out for as they close more high schools in New York and bash more veteran teachers: the lifeboat effect.

As (middle class, usually white) parents begin to believe that a regular public school is a terrible fate for their children, and traditional public schools are starved of resources, one logical step (as soon as I say this, you'll say "Of course") is to try and bribe some public official into getting your kid into one of the remaining "good" public schools. After all, a couple of thousand bucks in hundreds in an envelope is cheaper than tuition to one of the major private schools (unless you're a Hedge Fund manager and don't remember when a drawer full of $100 bills was real money).

Coming soon to a major urban school district near you.

And The New York Times thought they had seen "corruption" when you had those old community school districts. My bet is you're already in the midst of the same kind of privatization and charterization corruptions we had reached here by the final years of Arne Duncan's Kleptocracy, but haven't dug it out yet.

Can't wait to read more about NAEP.

As always,

Solidarity Forever,

George N. Schmidt
Editor, Substance

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Mike Bloomberg is so out of touch with reality that this is just a part of that crazy vision.
Is there anyone checking on him, I believe he is senile.