Chicago Schools Lag Gains Claimed by Duncan

Test scores in ed secretary's former district trail other cities
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2009 8:49 AM CST
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, right, has lunch with students at Eagle School in Martinsburg, W.Va., on May 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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(Newser) – In the latest test results, Chicago schools failed to show evidence of the gains claimed by their former superintendent, Arne Duncan, whose success in turning around the struggling system was widely touted when he was nominated for education secretary. Students in Miami, Houston, and New York outscored Chicago in math; other cities reported more improvement, the Washington Post reports.

"Chicago is not the story of an education miracle," says an education analyst. "It is, however, the story of a large urban system that…has made some promising structural change." During Duncan's time as Chicago schools chief—from 2001 to this year—he "was focused on outcomes—improving graduation rates, making sure that students who graduated had a chance to pursue higher ed," he said. But half of Chicago students still fail to graduate on time and test scores remain low.

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