Sunday, February 21, 2016

Shame on the Chicago School Consortium on School Research

Shame. Shame on the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research for once again, allowing their school survey to be used to punish schools.

Every year, around this time, all CPS teachers, parents, and students are invited to take the CCSR's  "5 Essentials" survey. It's a survey that describes 5 different areas of school quality associated with positive school climates such as "effective leaders,' "collaborative teachers", "involved families", "supportive environments", and "ambitious instruction".

So what's wrong with that?

The Consortium, which already has a troubling "quid pro quo" relationship with the Chicago Public Schools in order to have access to district data, allows their survey to be used for ten percent (TEN PERCENT!) of the CPS School Quality Rating Policy. This is a rating system that harms schools with low ratings, putting them at risk for school closure, turnaround, loss of autonomy and democracy, drops in enrollment, and loss of funding as bad PR siphons away students.

As any basic researcher knows, Campbell's Law shows that using this survey for high-stakes decisions when participants are aware of the stakes, invalidates the data. Yet the Consortium allows their research to be warped by CPS.

I'm going to tell right now....SCHOOLS ARE LYING!!! All around Chicago, you are forcing teachers and parents dedicated to their schools to LIE for you in order to keep their precious public schools open and intact. People who desperately want to improve education, who want to be honest about the struggles in their school buildings in order to improve educational opportunities for kids, are being put in the completely unreasonable position of having to tell lies to protect their students. And don't you dare go on some witch hunt to find out who is lying. No one out there is straight-up saying "lie". It is implied by the very nature of the purpose of this survey.

I am DEMANDING...that the Consortium stop allowing their so-called "research" to be abused by CPS. Take down your survey until is it removed from the SQRP. Until you do, you know that the results are bunk. Shame on you. Shame.