So the Mayor chose Altgeld Elementary School, where test scores have
apparently gone up 10 points since last year, to announce the
preliminary 2009 test scores for Chicago today.
Roughly 60 percent of schools got higher scores (320 of 519),
according to the city. But not by a whole lot. Districtwide, reading
scores are up one percentage point, while math is up 3 points.
The City Hall press release here
(PDF) reveals quite a bit of hedging and uncertainty -- taking credit
for increases at the same time as it acknowledges the sorry state of
affairs. It's a delicate line to walk. [The CPS version is here.]
Most jaw-dropping of all, however, the Mayor is quoted as if he
thinks he's leading the way in asking questions about unrealistically
high test scores rather than having been their prime beneficiary of
(and head cheerleader for) the inflated scores.
To its credit, the Tribune
notes that there are serious questions about previous increases and
points out this pattern of hypocrisy in the past: "A national test
last taken by district
students in 2007 showed that the district had only made modest
improvements over previous years. At the same time, the district was
highlighting impressive 2007 gains on the state test."