Tuesday, March 29, 2011

USA Today Reveals Possible Widespread Test Irregularities Under Michelle Rhee

USA Today published Monday a lengthy analysis of possible widespread cheating at the majority of schools during the tenure of DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee, leading to test score gains that seemed to reinforce Rhee's draconian strategies. Defending her record, Rhee lashed out at the USA Today piece, but Diane Ravitch, one of the nation's foremost critics of test-based reform and privatization took Rhee on pointing out that her entire record in DC may be a chimera.
Update: And in a follow-up by Jay Mathews, Michelle Rhee retracted on Wednesday her attack Tuesday on the USA Today piece, calling her own comments "stupid." What Rhee failed to acknowledge, however, is that back in 2009, when State Superintendent Deborah Gist wanted a real investigation of testing improprieties, Rhee and Fenty blocked a real investigation, preferring the chimera of rising test scores. Gist resigned as State Superintendent shortly thereafter. So we have a ways to go before the full story has been revealed.
Further Update: With growing interest in the need for a thorough investigation of the cheating scandal under Rhee, and suspicion and rumors that doctoring test answer sheets was taking place at many schools with a cover-up at the central office, Valerie Strauss on Wednesday proposed a real investigation as the only way to get to the bottom of what took place and who knew about it. USA Today also followed up today raising the question of whether Officials in DC really want to get to the truth or are still engaged in covering up the extent of the scandal.

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