Arne Duncan Claims More Untruths

Stephen Krashen makes 3 points in rebuttal to Arne's article today [I will give you #1]:
1. Response to Arne Duncan’s claim that his policies succeed in overcoming poverty:

Duncan states that schools and their "local partners" are "overcoming poverty" by "investing in teachers, rebuilding school staff, lengthening the school day and changing curricula."

I know of no evidence that this is so. Rather, the research indicates that there are very few high-performing schools in high poverty conditions. Also, to my knowledge, no detailed studies have emerged with descriptions of rebuilt schools with longer days showing consistent, startling progress.

There have been occasional media reports (e.g. Felch, Song and Poindexter, 2010), but these cases of improvement are sketchy. It is not clear whether scores are being pumped up by test prep or are the result of genuine teaching and learning.

The lack of comparison groups makes it impossible to dismiss the possibility that all students in the district are getting better, possibly due to the introduction of new tests and "test inflation," improvement due to greater familiarity with the test. Gerald Bracey (2009) reported that one highly publicized "success story" published in The New York Times about the Harvard Promise Academy, was true only for one grade, one subject and for one year.

Duncan gives the impression that "overcoming poverty" happens all the time under his administration. There is no real evidence that it happens at all.
Stephen Krashen

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