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[Susan notes: Gerald Bracey confronts Time, Inc. with some facts about education in Chicago during Duncatn's tenure.]

Submitted to Time Magazine but not published
09/14/2009

To the editor



Re: "Can Arne Duncan (And $5

Billion) Fix America's Schools?," September 14, 2009



Can Arne Duncan "Fix" AmericaĂ¢€™s Schools? Consider that Duncan

has been quoted as saying Chicago's public schools are "only a few

percentage points from an experience of total apartheid for black

students." Then consider these data from the National Assessment of

Educational Progress. In 2003, a year after Duncan became Chicago

schools' CEO, only 4% of black eighth graders were proficient in

mathematics. By 2007, the figure had increased to 6%. In reading in

both 2003 and 2007, only 10% of Chicago black eighth graders were

proficient or better. Some fix.



The "modest gains in student achievement" mentioned in the

article were due mostly to Illinois lowering its standards during

Duncan's tenure. In the 8th grade, for example, the state board

lowered the passing score in math from the 67th percentile to the

38th. Some fix.



Gerald Bracey


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