2007 Report on Schooling in Arne Duncan’s Chicago

This email message has been circulating since the announcement of Arne Duncan’s nomination as Obama’s Secretary of Education:

From: “Monty Neill” <monty@fairtest.org>
Date: December 16, 2008 1:45:09 PM EST
Subject: [eddra] Chicago under Arne Duncan

Nearly two years ago, FairTest and the Chicago-based organizations Parents United for Responsible Education and Designs for Change released a detailed
analysis of “Renaissance 2010,” Chicago’s major ‘school reform’ effort under Arne Duncan, which was initiated and conceptualized by Chicago corporate
leaders. We referred to it as “NCLB Chicago Style.” (Other folks helped write the report as well.)
 
While the analysis is detailed, the summary and recommendations are fairly brief, and I insert them below.
 
The report is on the websites of FairTest and PURE; Substance newspaper reprinted the report and it is on their website as
well: http://www.fairtest.org/new-report-challenges-strategies-promoted-chicago- is the news release with links to the report on the FT website (links
are also in the excerpt below); see also http://www.pureparents.org/ and www.substancenews.net .
 
It may be that Duncan will be somewhat different in Washington than in Chicago. Regardless, any positive changes will require continued great effort on
our part. As a friend remarked yesterday, “It’s what my husband said: If McCain is elected, might as well fold up the tent and go home. If Obama is
elected, it means a lot of hard work on our part.”
 
— Monty Neill, FairTest.org

Here’s the first paragraph of the news release:

A report released today challenges key strategies of the federal No Child Left Behind law by demonstrating that similar initiatives in Chicago failed to improve student learning. At the same time, significant academic progress was made in many Chicago Public Schools (CPS) which relied on locally-initiated reform strategies focused less on high-stakes standardized exams.

The page includes links to the complete report (pdf), and to the Executive Summary (html and pdf).

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