Re: Gender Impact of High-Stakes Tests
- Subject: Re: Gender Impact of High-Stakes Tests
- From: "George N. Schmidt" <Csubstance@AOL.COM>
- Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 08:41:25 EST
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
In a message dated 1/13/01 12:16:37 AM, e-morton@WORLDNET.ATT.NET writes:
<< But perhaps in Illinois you have such a
surplus of aspiring teachers that it really
doesn't matter. People are just queuing
up for those positions. (Yeah, right.) >>
Hello Colleagues (and thanks for the observation, Erwin)...
This year, in another publicity stunt, Chicago placed five "low scoring" high
schools on "academic intervention." Basically, the schools have been taken
over by the central administration, with teams of six or seven
"administrators" placed over everyone in the schools. The sole criterion for
the placement was "low" scores on the TAP reading test (and having run afoul
of the central politicians...).
The Chicago Board of Education voted in June to place the schools on
"intervention," then quickly staged a series of show trials, held in the
school board chambers and televised, to present the "evidence" that the
school had "failed."
All of the schools (Bowen, DuSable, Collins, South Shore and Orr) are 100
percent minority, and 95 percent poverty level. Additionally -- and this is
the key part -- all of them serve the "general population" in their low
income communities. That means that their students are drawn from those who
(a) can't afford private or parochial schools, (b) don't qualify (based on
test scores) for our magnet and specialty school programs, and (c) don't have
the political clout to get into a "special" school. So these schools serve
the poorest African American and Latino kids in the poorest communities after
a sorting process that results in their getting the lowest scoring kids.
Chicago's school board got away with labeling these schools the "worst" in
Chicago, thanks to the collaboration of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago
Sun-Times, and television news reporters in the Big Lie. (You can get the
Tribune and Sun-Times stories from back in June; the most mendacious of the
materials in print and on the Web about these schools comes from Catalyst,
which printed the graphs showing how the schools "failed" just as they were
fed to the Catalyst staff by Chicago school officials. Those are the official
versions of history upon which what follows will be written. Our reports in
Substance have been ignored except among the teachers, parents, and students
who are facing the truth every day. But we don't count.).
Intervention began in August.
Now it's January.
At least a quarter of the teachers from each of the schools have retired or
transferred from the schools in question. The "intervention team" members (a
"principal," "team manager" and four or five "subject area experts") are all
political opportunists, each paid between $80,000 and $110,000 per year.
Security at the schools collapsed because the "intervention team" leaders
came in attacking the teachers, which gave a green light for the children to
do whatever they want. In communities that are run by Chicago's drug gangs
(in the case of these schools, the Black Gangster Disciples, Black P. Stones,
Vice Lords, Latin Kings, and Latin Dragons), undermining the local school
teachers and administrators is tantamount to giving the school over to the
best organized force in the community -- the gang. That is what has happened.
At this point, none of the schools has all of its classrooms staffed with
certified and experienced teachers. At Bowen High School, where I taught
before our local dictatorship suspended (then fired) me, classes are now
staffed by "Full Time Provisional" (FTP) teachers. These are college
graduates with no professional training who are paid $90 per day for as long
as they can last in places where the "intervention administrators" are afraid
to go into the student lunch room without an armed police escort.
Yes, it does exact a toll.
But if you were to read any of the Chicago media you can hit on the Web or
listen to the professorial pronouncements from Northwestern University (Fred
Hess) or the University of Chicago (Melissa Roderick, et al), you would read
that things have gotten ever so better in Chicago since the Daley
Dictatorship took over the public schools and turned them slowly into
political patronage centers after 1995.
I hope people here are warned about the future, based on Chicago's recent
past as dangerous present. By the way. A week ago, Bill Clinton was in town
as part of his farewell tour and praised our mayor as a model manager for the
world ("One of the best city managers anywhere on earth..."). This rock
concert (coupled with slick public relations) approach to politics is an
amazing thing to watch...
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