I don't know who did this year's profile of Chicago in the annual NCLB implementation report put out by the Center on Education Policy this year, but it seems less like an independent case study and more like a rehash of what XEB and others at 125 S. Clark Street think about NCLB.
Not much choice under NCLB? Sorry, lack of space. Schools making
progress? It was the reading initiative. Increased efforts on school
improvement? We've got our own accountability system, thanks. Download NCLB-Case-Chicago2006.pdf
I don't begrudge CPS officials from telling their side of the
story. I just hope that readers don't forget inconvenient information
that Catalyst, the Tribune, and the Sun-Times have reported: like
the fact that disaggregated data weren't published in Chicago before
NCLB came along, or that CPS hid spots in some better performing
schools until forced to reveal them (and still won't give NCLB kids a
priority under Options), or that CPS initially refused to allow outside
tutors to rent or use space for NCLB tutoring.
How do you do a case study of NCLB in Chicago without talking to researchers, community and parent advocates, school watchdogs, and the like? And yet, only Board and school officials are listed as sources.
To be fair, the report is still worth reading. There's information there about Reading First and ELLs that hasn't been covered or updated recently, and the piece provides a good snapshot of NCLB in Chicago.
Still, I hope that CEP provides more independent analysis and research the next time around. We already get so much of the CPS version of things around here. It would have been nice -- and not so hard -- to include independent voices and perspectives.
Filed under: 125 S. Clark Street