I hope you remember the ‘Capital Gains’ project, launched by She-Who-Knows-All-And-Is-Friends-With-Billionaires, Rhee, a few years ago. She claimed it was one of her signature reforms: paying (bribing?) students to come to school and do the right thing. Her other reform, for which she has reaped much more publicity, is using the carrot and stick on teachers, who she thinks have the power to overcome all the evil effects of poverty, drugs, crime and racism if they would only do their jobs.
Rhee claimed that ‘Capital Gains’ was such a great success that DCPS needed to continue paying millions of dollars for the program this past school year, and this year as well.
Her other buddy, Harvard statistical wonder child Roland Fryer, claimed that since there were a few areas of improvement here and there in the experimental group, that She-Who-Knows-All was right. Never mind the fact that he claimed that Hardy was in the experimental group, which it refused to do, thanks to the brave leadership of Patrick Pope.
Me? I’m just an ordinary (retired) citizen, and I learned and taught a little bit of basic math along the way. I have done another bit of simple-minded analysis of the overall DC-CAS results at the two groups of schools. I call them the Experimental Group – ones where kids received money, and the Control Group – schools where they didn’t. My source of data is the nice spreadsheet that Mary Levy put together giving scores for all subgroups at all DC public schools. Her data comes from the OSSE-NCLB-DCPS website.
THE EXPERIMENTAL GROUP DID MUCH, MUCH WORSE
OVER TIME THAN THE CONTROL GROUP.
I suppose that Roland Fryer will find some statistical way to weasel Rhee’s way around this mess, but look for yourself.
First, a table giving percentages of students scoring ‘proficient’ or better in reading in every single school in the experimental group, from 2007 to 2010. I am listing the scores for every single one of the fifteen schools.
Now, let’s look at the control group of schools:
Now look again at the bottom lines on the two data tables. Notice that in the control group, the average change in the percentage of students reading at the DC-CAS ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’ level DROPPED by roughly 2.5 percentage points from 2009 to 2010. Not good, to be sure, but not nearly as bad as what happened in the experimental group. There, there was an average drop of over 6 percentage points during the same time period. (The medians of negative one and negative six tell the same story.)
OK, then what about the two-year changes, from ’08 to ’10? Same story, only even worse for Cancelled Rhee’s so-called signature reform. In the control group, the overall change in percentages of students ‘passing’ the DC-CVAS in reading was about negative one-half of a percentage point. Not great, but wonderful if you compare it with the experimental schools, where the drop was about 6.8 percentage points! (Again, the medians confirm the story.)
Finally, what about the three-year changes, from ’07 to ’10?
IN THE EXPERIMENTAL SCHOOLS, THE AVERAGE RISE WAS LESS THAN TWO (2) PERCENTAGE POINTS.
IN THE CONTROL GROUP SCHOOLS, THE RISE WAS OVER EIGHT (8) PERCENTAGE POINTS.
Thus, even on her own terms, Michelle Rhee has been an abject failure.
The Washington Post editorial board refuses to own up to that fact. They claim that the reason Fenty lost was simply because he worked too hard and Rhee fired some black teachers, alienating their friends and relatives.
That is a load of pig excrement, and an attempt to divide the electorate along racial lines. (Unfortunately, a fairly large fraction of white folks seem to believe Rhee’s lies. They must not be reading my blog.)
Essentially nothing Rhee has done in DCPS has improved things. But she lies and claims successes. And the majority of the population got tired and fed up with being lied to.
It’s time for Kanzlerhee to be canceled. Leave, already, before you cause any more damage!