Rhee’s Claims of Overwhelming Success on the NAEP

In Florida, would-be education Deformer-In-Chief Michelle Rhee is claiming credit for causing tremendous progress in DCPS on the NAEP under her command. Here is one quote:

“Over the three years that I was there, we saw really record gains in academic achievement on the NAEP examination,” she said. “We went from being last in the entire nation to leading the entire nation in gains in both reading and math at both the fourth and eighth grade levels. And we were the only jurisdiction in the entire country in which every single subgroup of children improved their academic standing.”

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/13/2065253/star-educator-michelle-rhee-sparks.html?story_link=email_msg#ixzz1DykNowJ3

It reminds me of a scene from a Tom Selleck movie, where a washed-up baseball player tries to make his accomplishments sound significant. I don’t remember the movie or the exact words, but the idea went something like this:

“I went from last in league overall batting average to being first last year among all second-base players for on-base average for the month of May in the third inning with one out and no runs scored by the opposing team, against right-handed starting pitchers, in stadiums whose name begins with a consonant.”

(Meaning, he drew four walks in that time period, at Turner Field (Atlanta), Tropicana Park (St. Petersburg), PNC Park (Pittsburgh) , and Fenway Park (Boston), all of those events occurring in the third inning, against right-handed pitchers.  Oh, and he was also hit once by a wild pitch at Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City). No-one else got so lucky. And he’s about to get cut from his team because his batting average is only .186, and he’s made a lot of fielding errors as well. None of which did he mention, of course.)

Meanwhile, at http://therheedcrecord.wikispaces.com/, Alan Ginsburg has written a report showing that the DC NAEP gains were about the same under Rhee as they were under Vance or Janey, who were the two previous DCPS superintendents.

I am glad that Ginsburg reached the same conclusions that I did. My reports, on my blog, came out several months ago. You can see them here:


In addition, it was pointed out to me, in part by Chris Bergfalk, a current teacher in DCPS, that the ‘achievement gap’ between the wealthier and whiter students in DCPS on the one hand, and the poorer and browner students on the other, widened considerably under Rhee.

What’s more, if you look at the first post I listed, you see evidence that much of the gains that did occur, happened simply because DCPS gained a significant number of white and asian students, and lost a lot of black students.


Published in: on February 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. First there was the “Baltimore Miracle” and now Rhee has invented the “D.C. Miracle.” There is plenty of evidence that there was not a “D.C. Miracle.” Keep the fire under this new miracle, Guy, because Rhee is spreading the word of this new miracle every chance she gets. People in high places with the power to make policy decisions are eating it up. How can we convince these people not to base their policy decisions on Michelle Rhee’s over-stated successes?


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