Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What Is This? Take our Poll!

A statement, centered below, was made about the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), the Chicago-based education project, which spent $150 - $160 MILLION DOLLARS between 1995 and 2001 on a "school reform" project in Chicago.

An article printed in the New York Post today details criticism of the CAC, by Chicago's school chief, Paul Vallas, the man who was in office during the years Barack Obama was running the "Challenge."

According to the article, Mr. Vallas said that the CAC "failed to monitor projects and funded school 'reform' groups that campaigned against boosting academic standards." Mr . Vallas also added the following:
"There was a total lack of accountability. If you went back and asked, you'd be hard-pressed to find out how the money was spent," said Paul Vallas, the city's school superintendent when Obama chaired the Chicago Annenberg Foundation from 1995 to 1999.
But Paul Vallas was not the only critic of the work of the CAC.

You may recall that the CAC was created by unrepentant domestic terrorist, turned education "scholar," Bill Ayers. It was initially funded by a $49.2 MILLION DOLLAR grant from the Annenberg Foundation, and further funded through additional matching grants received from a variety of sources.

Barack Obama was appointed the Chairman of the Board and President of the CAC organization, positions that he held for approximately five years, and which he initially undertook when he was about 34 years old. He had graduated a few years before that from the Harvard Law School. After he stepped down as President and Chairman in 1999, he still remained a member of the Board of the CAC until 2001.

Below is an actual written statement that was also made about the work of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. After reading it, please scroll down and take our poll.

See if you can guess the origin of this statement:
"The Challenge's "bottom line" was improving student achievement and other social and psychological outcomes. Our research indicates that student outcomes in Annenberg schools were much like those in demographically similar non-Annenberg schools and across the Chicago School system as a whole, indicating that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on student outcomes."


What is the above statement about the Chicago Annenberg Challenge - "CAC"?
Part of a critique statement issued by a "task-force" within the Bush Administration.
Criticism leveled by a national conservative "think tank" specializing in education policy.
A concession made by the CAC evaluators, noting their failure to achieve their own main goal.
Part of a statement by a "rival" education foundation, made while competing for "new" funds.
None of the above.
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Please scroll down for the correct answer:












ANSWER: The correct answer is the third choice -- "A concession made by the CAC evaluators, noting their failure to achieve their own main goal."

The conclusion by CAC's own evaluators, was that the CAC had produced nothing of significant value for students. There were no measurable improvements in student skills or performance that were attributable to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge project.

The actual statement printed above can be found on page "1" in the Executive Summary of the Final Report (pdf), issued in 2003, the technical Report of the Consortium of Chicago School Research (CCSR). The CCSR was the evaluation arm of the CAC, whose purpose was to research and evaluate the success of the CAC funding over the years. The language and tone of the Report are both charitable, even "understanding" of the possible whys and wherefors of the CAC's lack of success, but the bottom line for the students was disturbingly clear, in measuring both student achievement and student engagement.

On the very next page, you can read that these were their specific conclusions regarding student academic achievement, and student engagement:

(Re: Student Academic Achievement) . . . "There were no statistically significant differences between Annenberg schools and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain."
. . .
(Re: Student Academic Engagement) . . . "Like student academic achievement, there were no statistically significant differences in these outcomes between Annenberg schools and non-Annenberg schools."

In other words, the Annenberg evaluators themselves conceded in their own final study that any educational improvements for Chicago school children occurred across the board and, therefore, had nothing to do with the CAC -- the Annenberg project.

That is why you never hear Barack Obama, or anyone from his campaign boasting about his executive experience there for 5 or 6 years.

And that is why you never hear Obama, or his campaign talking about his successful tenure there as an "education leader."

The fact is that he and unrepentant terrorist, turned "Professor" Bill Ayers failed the school children of Chicago. The organization they ran even said so when they evaluated the work of the organization. Bill Ayers was running another "arm" of the CAC, called the "Collaborative." That was the policy implementation arm of the CAC.

So, while Barack Obama was indeed "palling around with" terrorist Bill Ayers, and they were experimenting with fighting over the control of the schools, between them they managed to fritter away about $150 - $160 million dollars. If properly used, it could have made a world of difference in the lives of untold numbers of Chicago school children.

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