The Chicago Public Schools released a report on the college matriculation rates of its grduates. Shockingly, it was far more positive than a report issued a few weeks a ago by the University of Chicago's Consortium on Chicago School Research. According to the Sun-Times, school watchdog groups were unimpressed:
"I am very suspicious of the [new CPS] data. The numbers don't match the realities we see day to day in high schools on Chicago's West and South sides," said Derrick Harris of the Lawndale Neighborhood Organization. "We don't see kids excited about going to college because the prognosis and their preparedness is not there. The reality is very bleak."
What caught my eye in the Sun-Times was a quote from CPS CEO Arne Duncan:
In the U. of C. study, researchers found low grade-point averages relegated CPS graduates to two-year or "non-selective" colleges, many of which have poor graduation rates. Duncan, however, called that study "ancient history."
"The part everyone missed is that the consortium measured students who entered the Chicago Public Schools in the late '80s, when it was arguably the worst system in the country," Duncan said. "All that changed in 1995."
When the consortium's report came out a few weeks ago, he had this to say to the Sun-Times:
Still, schools CEO Arne Duncan did not dispute the 6.5 percent number; he just wants to improve it.
"It affirms my absolute belief that we need dramatic change," he said.
The contradiction stands on its own.