CHICAGO - Independent freelance journalist Jeff Berkowitz asked Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett how to improve Chicago children's poor reading scores. He writes about her convoluted and no-answer response Tuesday:
Jeff Berkowitz: Robin Steans, [Executive Director of] Advance Illinois, said that approximately 25% of the kids in CPS are reading at grade level- do you agree with that number? She was talking about 4th graders, I believe.
CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett: I am reviewing- I don’t have that number at my finger tip and I have been reviewing that data, but I have been a little bit preoccupied at this moment around another issue [School closings]. I would suspect that she is closer to being correct than not, but I don’t have the exact number at my mind.
Berkowitz: How long would it take to up that number significantly and how would you do that?
CEO Bennett: I think there are a number of ways. First of all, starting with the number, you’ve got to disaggregate the data, you’ve got to determine- I could go through all the education stuff-just where children are not learning; what do I need to do with teacher professional development to insure they have the skills and the abilities, you have to take a look at the materials that are being used, the methodology, whether the scheduling allows for the sufficient time on task; whether children are grouped appropriately-so that kids who can move more quickly can and those who need more intervention, get it. So there are a number of strategies, so you have to really take a look at the data, disaggregate that data and look for patterns and trends before you put an action plan in place.
Please explain CEO Bennett's reply for the rest of us ... The rest of Berkowitz' report is HERE.