Did Duncan Lie About Chicago Accomplishments?


A couple of days ago the Washington Post ran an article questioning Arne Duncan’s legacy in Chicago (here)

Almost exactly a year before, the paper ran an article touting it (here).

What a difference a year makes, eh?

Leaving aside the poor journalism surrounding Duncan and the Post’s failure to inform readers that its coverage had changed dramatically, the question arises about whether Duncan contributed to the public’s misunderstandings about his record as head of CPS?

He’s come awfully close. 

He’s called Chicago a national model, and suggested that Chicago’s efforts on charters, merit pay, and dropout prevention were greater successes than the facts would suggest. 

Conservative education pundit Rick Hess gets into some of this in a blog post here, noting Duncan’s claims and his under-appreciation for how easy he had it in Chicago relative to other districts without the mayoral support or the resources or the state laws.


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  • He did not lie. Mr. Duncan like any other political appointee discussed data in a way that makes CPS look good and did not discuss other data that makes it look bad. What is new about that?

  • The real mission of the Duncan and now Huberman is implementing the Ren 2010 program and extend it. That is not a model since it is "smoke and mirrors". It is not sustainable since the accomplices like big business is short of cash to keep Ren 2010 going full guns. When we look at schools like UNO we see not so much learning but test prep factories. It seems that like Daley and TIF funding , certain data is buried. Duncan was the "good ole boy" "Aw shucks" face to bringing down public education. What do you expect from a guy who's experience in education is being an tutor in his mom's tutoring program and some substituting. Another Daley debacle.

  • Retired Principal said: There are 34 high schools that could be "turnarounded" or 'turned upside down" and phased out for the 2010-2011 school year! There are 47 elementary schools that could be closed, turnarounded, consolidated or phased out for the 2010-2011 achool year! Mr. Huberman will make the announcement at the January Board of Education meeting and the Board will vote on the recommendations at the February Board of Education meeting! Stay tuned and if you are at one of these schools, update your resume!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Huberman is in his job to finish the Daley Hatchet job with the Ren 2010 Guide Book, not for his managerial acumen. Huberman leads by fear and all know it who work at the board (unless you are one of his inner circle and go with the groupthink). Huberman and team will give the picture that they are using "sound" managerial strategies and techniques borrowed from a text book and hire high priced third party business consultants to give an impression of legitimacy. Citizens must stand up to this fraud that is wasting tax dollars on unsound methods of building professional capacity in our schools.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    it's not just that he left things out -- a fair and common enough tactic, i agree.

    what about touting the 29 percentage point increase in ISAT scores when we -- and presumably he -- all knew that those results were juiced?

    turned out to be more like 8 or 9 percent once you took out all the changes in form and length.

    using information you know is questionable is getting close to lying right? even if it's the state's numbers you're using.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    To Retired Principal -- To make "updating your resume" a sound piece of advice, you'd first have to say "move at least 100 miles away from a major urban area" or "be prepared to take a 15-20% paycut working for charters." The only real advice at this point, after losing 6,000 CTU jobs since 2004, is stand and fight. Push back, organize, gather your data, document the lack of district supports ... but fight smart and hard for your professional lives.
    To start, join GEM, CORE and hundreds of educators/community leaders at Malcolm X Community College on 1/9/10 at 10 a.m. (see coreteachers.com) to organize city-wide to fight Ren10 school "reconstitutions."
    The 6 schools who got off the Hit List last year didn't "update their resumes." They fought relentlessly in the streets, in Springfield and in local elected officials' offices -- and leaned heavily on GEM and CORE for support.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Retired Principal said: To chitown teacher, yes you must fight or get run over by CPS!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Were his lips moving? I'd say yes, he was lying. His "discussion" of "data" were designed to "obscure the truth." His non-quantitative statements were outright lies. I never heard him say anything that reflected my real experience in CPS as a parent of a child with serious disabilities. --- Tired of the B.S.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    BEHOLD! The Renaissance awaits us all in a mere 8.5 hours! Call out, hang signs, let us welcome the spirit of true inquiry and new thinking to our city's schools!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Here's the real story on Arne Duncan:

    and its related story:

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Ann Whalen and Arne Duncan should have to pay this money back to the children of CPS! Where is the OIG on this? Corruption galor!

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