Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More blatant charter school propaganda

The hype around the charter school, Harlem Village Academies, has been extraordinary.

The school has been featured on NBC Nightly News and many other media venues. The CEO, Deborah Kenny, spouts all the usual cliches: the school's success is based on running it “like a business”, the school supports “great teaching” and has a “culture of accountability.” She also calls Bloomberg a “godsend” for education. One thing is for sure, Kenny is paid like a corporate executive, according to the the blog Schools Matters.

Be sure to check out the hugely deceptive video below from an Oct. 15 segment of the MSNBC show, Morning Joe. Joe Scarborough begins by showing headlines from that morning's NY Times about NY State's lack of progress on the math NAEP exams, also called the Nation's report card, which called into question the validity of the sharp increases of NY students on the state math exams.

But then Joe goes on to say “However, but its not all bad news: for example 100% of the eighth graders at NYC’s Harlem Village Academies are proficient in their math skills."

At the same time, a graphic is displayed with the name of the charter school, stating that 100% of its students scored proficient in math, compared to 34% in the nation. At the top of the blackboard the words “the Nation’s Report Card” are featured, implying that both sets of results are from NAEP.

Yet the 100% figure for this charter school were from the NY state exams – which the NAEP results had just revealed to be hugely inflated! And the 34% is the national average for proficiency on the NAEPs – whose results are far more reliable and whose standards are much higher.

Whether this deception was promulgated by Kenny or was just sloppy reporting on the part of MSNBC, who knows. But at no time did Deborah Kenny try to correct the misimpression created by Joe Scarborough’s remarks or the visual displayed on the screen. I guess she earned her 420K salary that day.


NYC Educator said...

Wow. 420K. I'd be willing to get up and spout nonsense for half that.

Are you listening, major networks?

Windows, Siding, Roofing and more... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Don't you think you sound a bit like a Saturday Night Live skit where they pretend the time is 10 years ago making fun of how a commerical is saying there will be a computer in every home or that everyone will have cell phones? I am on the fence about charter schools but frankly, this post sounded like you're really attacking something you're afraid of. Makes me wonder. Are the kids really the ones you're worried about here? And why aren't they?

ed notes online said...

"Makes me wonder. Are the kids really the ones you're worried about here? And why aren't they?"

Interesting comment on a NYC parent blog that has a lot of support from NYC parents. Sounds even funnier that a Sat Nite Live skit. Don't hurt yourself falling off the fence.

Anonymous said...

Deborah Kenny has on more than a number of occasions "re-positioned" the facts to make her stats sound better than they are. Her school has a shockingly high attrition rate, both students and staff. And how come if she's doing such good work, she still only serves about 400 students more or less.
She also says that kids write some things but really her staff do.
If she's running it like a business shouldn't she be "scaling". Her salary would at least justify more kids on the budget than just about 400-500.