Category Archives: Debunking

Unveiling truth behind school and district miracles

It takes a village

Probably the worst part about being an opponent of bad education reform is when I have to ‘debunk’ a potential ‘miracle school.’  A ‘miracle’ school is one that gets extremely high test scores despite having the same types of students … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking | 19 Comments

The Answer To The $125,000 Question

Two years ago I first heard about a new Charter School in New York City called The Equity Project, founded by a TFA alum named Zeke Vanderhoek.  There was an article in The New York Times about how they were … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking | 21 Comments

Turnaround Is Unfair Play

Superman has arrived and he takes Visa. As districts get more and more desperate trying to reach 100% proficiency by 2014, they begin to turn to a new breed of ‘experts.’ These experts claim that they hold the secrets to … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking | 17 Comments

Miracle Schools: Where Are They Now?

The current education reform battle is a bit like a boxing match. The corporate reformers had a lot of momentum until April 2010, when Diane Ravitch came out with ‘The Death And Life Of The Great American School System.’ This … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking, Tom | 16 Comments

New Orleans RSD — the ‘miracle’ district

The Louisiana Department Of Education just released the 2011 School Performance Data. As New Orleans has been hailed as a ‘miracle’ district, I was eager to see the results. As you might know, after Katrina the lowest performing schools were … Continue reading

Posted in book proposal, Debunking, Tom | 21 Comments

Virgin Mary On A Grilled Cheese And Other Miracles

Somewhere, Woodward and Bernstein are weeping. I entered the fight against the ‘reformers’ back in February after hearing Duncan claim that a school in Chicago got dramatic results by shutting down and replacing with a charter school in the same … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking, Tom | 2 Comments

Reformers Join The Mile High Club

Debunking a miracle school can be tedious work.  Debunking an entire district is, generally, even worse. But when I heard about the recent ‘miracle’ in Denver, I was pleasantly surprised when I got the opportunity to explore Colorado’s excellent data … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking | 5 Comments

Rhee-ality Check

First watch the two minutes from 20:30 to 22:50 (up until the moderator asks Rhee if she is a ‘Tiger Mom’) of this excerpt from an interview Michelle Rhee did recently. Now, the video really speaks for itself, so I’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking | 8 Comments

Same Kids, Same Building, Same Lies — Redux

A few months ago after attending the 20th anniversary summit, I wrote a post about my progress in investigating a school that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan singled out in his keynote speech. Urban Prep is a small charter school … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking | 2 Comments

Turnaround every now and then I get …

I’ve recently written three posts about so-called ‘turnaround’ schools in Chicago, Memphis, and again in Chicago. Since none of these schools have achieved the test scores that are so emphasized by the rheeformers, I’ve been thinking about how these examples … Continue reading

Posted in Debunking | 5 Comments