Utter, Stunning Failure by Rhee, Kamras, Henderson et al:

Mr. Teachbad” did such a great job analyzing the utter failure of these contemptible liars that I hope he won’t mind that I re-post it in full:


16 MAR 2013       by 

Well, shit…THAT didn’t work. Now what?

This is stunning.

You remem­ber Michelle Rhee, right? She came to turn the DC pub­lic school sys­tem around. In 2007 she grabbed this city by the throat and shook it into sub­mis­sion.  Teach­ers were fired by the hun­dreds and prin­ci­pals by the dozens. Thou­sands have left the sys­tem because they did not want to work under the con­di­tions Rhee and Jason Kam­ras, her chief teacher tech­ni­cian, were imposing.

That was fine with her. Screw ‘em.  She would find new peo­ple who were will­ing to work hard and believed in chil­dren. Mil­lions upon mil­lions of new dol­lars were found and spent on telling teach­ers how to teach, reward­ing the lap­dogs and fer­ret­ing out the infidels.

Big change never comes easy. You can’t make an omelet with­out break­ing some eggs, etc. But if the right peo­ple have the resources and the courage to make and fol­low through with the tough deci­sions, great things can happen.

After five years, how is DCPS doing? A DC Fis­cal Pol­icy Insti­tute study released ear­lier this week has eval­u­ated the work of Rhee and her suc­ces­sor, Kaya “sucks-to-be-me” Hen­der­son. A write up of the study by Emma Brown can also be found at the Wash­ing­ton Post.

The prin­ci­pal find­ing of the study was that the “share of stu­dents scor­ing at a pro­fi­cient level at the typ­i­cal school fell slightly between 2008 and 2012.”

Whatch­utalk­in­boutwillis? Seri­ously? Read that again. Oh…my…God.

But hold on. That can’t really say every­thing. And what the hell is a “typ­i­cal school”? Let’s dis­ag­gre­gate the data.

Fair enough. The first thing to notice is that pub­lic char­ter schools are doing bet­ter than DCPS schools; not by a huge amount, but it is notice­able and across the board. So there’s that.

More impor­tantly, inter­est­ing pat­terns are revealed when look­ing at schools across these five years by income quin­tiles. Then, as now, the best per­form­ing schools are in the wealth­i­est parts of town and the worst per­form­ing schools are in the poor­est parts of town. That almost goes with­out say­ing. But have schools in the poor­est parts of the city begun to catch up? After all, that’s what this is sup­posed to be all about; clos­ing the achieve­ment gap. How’s that going?

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just come out with it:

      Pro­fi­ciency rates have increased in the four wards with the high­est incomes. Pro­fi­ciency rates have fallen in the four wards with the low­est incomes.   

So, Michelle, Kaya and Jason…it appears you have man­aged to INCREASE the size of the Achieve­ment Gap in Wash­ing­ton, DC. And, Michelle, you are now try­ing to export your great ideas to the entire coun­try? If the three of you don’t feel stu­pid by now, you’re even dumber than I thought. You should all resign. Immediately.

But maybe there’s hope. There is a new plan. Not just any plan, but a strate­gic plan. The study notes that DCPS’s newCap­tial Com­mit­ment plan (yawn) sets the “ambi­tious goal of increas­ing pro­fi­ciency rates at the 40 low­est per­form­ing schools by 40 per­cent­age points by 2017….Given the DC CAS score trends over the past four years, it would appear that DCPS needs to under­take sub­stan­tial changes to the way it oper­ates to make this goal a reality.”

Wait. Didn’t we just do that?

——— Mr. Teach­bad


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