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Why test score dog and pony show today?... Daley, Huberman try to draw major media away from June 23 Chicago Board of Education meeting amid growing protests

Why would the Miracle Mayor who pioneered mayoral control and gave the USA Arne Duncan, now the U.S. Secretary of Education, want to distract the media from a meeting of his own hand-picked and carefully scripted Board of Education on June 23, 2010? The last place Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley wants to be — or wants the media to be — on the day his hand-picked Board of Education meets amid growing outrage over the latest round of budget lies and teacher cuts is at the downtown building that houses the Chicago Public Schools executive offices. So what does Daley do? He and his media handles schedule a media event several miles from the Board of Education, to announce another set of dubious test score "gains".

By September 2008, then Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan (above left) had had six years' practice in reading the scripts that were provided to him announcing the latest miracle test score gains in Chicago elementary schools and praising Mayor Richard M. Daley (above right) for making all of that possible. Three months after the above photo was taken, Duncan was appointed U.S. Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama so that the Chicago Model could become the model for corporate education reform across the USA. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. In what seems to be another desperate attempt to draw media away from the growing protests at meetings of the Chicago Board of Education, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman have scheduled a last-minute media event on the morning of June 23, 2010, to announce the "preliminary" scores on the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT) for Chicago's elementary schools. For the umpteenth time in as many years, Daley and the school system will desperately ignore the high school test scores (on the Prairie State Achievement Exams, or PSAEs) while trumpeting the numbers for some of the ISATs.

A recent announcement that Chicago's ISAT scores had gone "up" featured Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, "elected officials" (including Isaac Coruthers, above at podium), and CPS test experts (Ginger Reynolds, above right) at the Ella Flagg Young school on September 15, 2008. Coruthers is now in prison for corruption, and Reynolds was fired by Ron Huberman in favor of his so-called "performance management" team in early 2009. It is unclear who will explain the latest miracle in test score improvement in Chicago's elementary schools at the June 23, 2010, Daley media event, but the one guarantee is that the scores will have gone "up". Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Daley's careful scheduling (or avoidance) of the media at the time that test scores are announced has been practiced for more than a decade. When test scores have gone "up", Daley and his media team host some kind of event with CPS officials. When the test scores are flat or questionable, Daley avoids the media on the issues. At no time does Daley answer any specific questions about how the test scores actually work. In 2008, for example, when the ISAT scores had an increase because of changes in the administration of the tests a year earlier (it was an election year, with both Daley and then governor Rod Blagojevich running for re-election), Daley read from a script about how the improved scores proved that mayor control was still succeeding. None of the corporate media reporter asked critical questions, including why Daley and his schools "team" were refusing to release or discuss the high school scores (on the Prairie State Achievement Exam) at the same time they were touting the ISATs.

As the chart on the left showed during Daley's September 15, 2008 media event on the ISATs, the scores were at another "All Time High." Even as he was praising Daley and the miracle management of Chicago's public schools during the event at the Ella Flagg Young school in his ward, Alderman Isaac Coruthers (at microphone) was wearing a wire as part of a plea bargain he had reached with federal authorities following an investigation into corruption in his ward. Another person who was a regular in praising Daley during the early 21st Century, Chicago Schools "Chief Education Office" Barbara Eason Watkins (above left) will not be present for Daley's latest media event on July 23, 2010. in May, Eason Watkins, who had provided Daley with credibility for more than seven years, resigned from CPS to take the job of superintendent of schools in a small district in another state. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.When the media assemble for Daley's June 23, 2010, media event, Daley will be surrounded by a new cast of supporters. Major events in past years (there was nothing as significant in 2009, shortly after Daley appointed ex-cop and Daley Protege Ron Huberman to head CPS) have always featured a politician or two and the ubiquitous Barbara Eason-Watkins, who did Daley's apologetics across Chicago during the years Arne Duncan was chief of the schools. Many said that without Eason-Watkins, Daley could not have pulled off the claims he was making. Late in the day on June 22, 2010, the Chicago Board of Education's Office of Communications, issued the following press release:

Mayor, Huberman to Announce New CPS ISAT Scores

For more information contact: Frank Shuftan, CPS Office of Communications, (773) 553-1620—office, (773) 841-7280—cell, Website: www.cps.edu FOR PLANNING PURPOSES:

June 22, 2010

WHO: Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman, Elected Officials, Chicago Public Schools Officials When Daley stages media events on test scores, his handlers always make certain that a loyal audience is there for cheer the latest affirmation that mayoral control has created miracles in Chicago's schools. On September 15, 2008, then schools chief Arne Duncan ordered more than $4 million (annual salaries) worth of CPS principals and higher ranking officials to sit in the audience and cheer on cue. The crowd above, photographed at Ella Flagg Young Elementary School while Daley was speaking on September 15, 2008, consisted mainly of principals, area officers (then called "area instructional officers" and higher paid officials from the CPS central office. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.WHAT: Press conference on preliminary Illinois Standards Achievement Test results

WHEN: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at 9 a.m

WHERE: Jonathon Burr School, 1621 W. Wabansia Ave.

Mayor Daley and CPS CEO Huberman will discuss preliminary 2010 Chicago Public Schools ISAT scores. -30-



Comments:

June 23, 2010 at 2:05 PM

By: Celia

teacher

The precentile needed to "pass" at 3rd grade on ISAT? 23 How low can Huberman go?Huberman is doing a great job! Let us ask the CTA how they are doing now that he is gone?

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