Council Selects Group for DCPS Study
The D.C. Council is looking to the research arm of the National Academies for an independent assessment of public school reform under Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.
This week's mark up of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's proposed budget sets aside $325,000 for the D.C. Auditor to hire the National Research Council (NRC), one of four non-profits that operate under the National Academies umbrella, along with the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine.
The NRC, founded in 1916, has an education division that has recently studied the impact of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards on student achievement (good) and the condition of high school science labs (not so good). It has also published reports on math education and standardized testing. A mission statement on its website says it is "committed to providing elected leaders, policy makers, and the public with expert advice based on sound scientific evidence."
Michael J. Feuer, the executive director of the NRC's division of behavioral and social sciences and education, was on hand at the D.C. Council's Wednesday press conference on mark ups. He was not available to comment today.
The NRC's selection ends, for the moment at least, the stalemate between Fenty and Chairman Vincent C. Gray over how Rhee's attempted overhaul of DCPS would be evaluated. The 2007 law establishing mayoral control of the school system requires Fenty to submit an annual appraisal, covering academic achievement, business practices and personnel policies. He could also skip the annual reports in favor of a five-year evaluation in Sept. 2012.
Last May, Gray and the Council rebuffed Fenty's selection of two education scholars because of questions about their independence. Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute had written favorably about Rhee. Kenneth Wong of Brown University has testified in favor of mayoral takeover of school systems. When Fenty didn't offer other candidates, Gray decided to step in.
Gray said he also had transparency issues with Fenty, who proposed that the study be paid by the D.C Education Fund, the mayor's vehicle for collecting private contributions to school reform. The fund, which has never offered a full disclosure of its contributors, has a board that includes New York City schools Chancellor Joel Klein, a friend and mentor of Rhee's.
A Gray aide said the NRC has promised full disclosure of funding sources. The $325,000 will cover about 20 percent of the total cost. The NRC will raise the rest from private sources.
An initial report may be available in about a year.
Posted by: efavorite | April 29, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cleanconscience | April 29, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: wtf1 | April 29, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: adcteacher1 | April 29, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: schooletal | April 29, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: chrysj1996 | April 30, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: natturner | April 30, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: efavorite | April 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JesseAlred | April 30, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: efavorite | May 1, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: JesseAlred | May 2, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: efavorite | May 4, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.