Dear Commons Community,
Last week I commented on this blog the coverage of New York Magazine’s featured article on Michelle Rhee’s plan to develop an “interest group” named StudentsFirst modeled on the National Rifle Association. The “interests” of her group will essentially be the school reform platform she pushed while superintendent of the Washington, D.C. public schools including performance pay for teachers, expanding charter schools, and ending teacher tenure. In yesterday’s USA Today, the cover article reported on its investigation of high erasure rates found in 103 of Washington, D.C. public schools during Rhee’s tenure as superintendent. The investigation calls into question whether the gains in tests scores during Rhee’s watch were more the result of cheating by teachers and/or principals in order to appear as if schools had improved. Much of the data supplied for this investigation was provided by CTB/McGraw-Hill, Washington, D.C.’s testing company. The story paints a horrible picture of parents being completely misled by school authorities as to the academic progress of their children.