Tuesday, September 20, 2005

UPDATE: Chicago schools ... the BAD news

A while back, this blog took exception to the rosy spin placed on a very modest improvement in SOME national test scores by Chicago public school students. The "good news" was trumpeted on front page headlines. City and school officials engaged in a round of reciprocal back patting.

As a former school consultant, I questioned the rosy analysis.

Well, the Chicago Sun-Times (September 19) reports a "harsh reality" -- most notably that only 54 percent of kids entering Chicago high schools will graduate in four years. Not get this! Most of the kids who DO graduate and move on to the city colleges (not talking Harvard here) will have to take remedial classes to make up for educational deficiencies. Up to 74 percent will need remedial English. Image that! The public schools cannot even teach kids to read and write. A whopping ninety-four percent will need remedial math. And, of course, civics and social studies are totally hopeless.

Much blame goes to the teacher unions and their policy of "social promotion," which is nothing more than moving an uneducated kid to the next level. Up and out ... all the while the education bureaucracy sucks up the taxpayer dollars under the guise of really educating our future generation. Kids in Chicago earning a B average fall into the D range on national tests. Grades and diplomas mean nothing.

Arne Duncan, the head of the Chicago school system, admits that they are not preparing most kids for any life after high school ... work or college.

Interestingly, the high school drop out rate, and student statistics, are not much different than there were in 1970s, when I began beating up on the education establishment for the abuse … yes, abuse … of our children.

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