Monday, March 28, 2011

USAT | How real were school gains under Rhee?

As the District of Columbia's controversial public schools chief, Michelle Rhee rode soaring student test scores to a national reputation as a model education reformer.

But a new USA Today investigation published today raises disturbing questions about whether cheating drove some of those gains.

USAT's story is based on an extensive examination of data and documents secured under D.C.'s Freedom of Information Act. It's part of a broader series on school test scores.

Rhee resigned in October after the mayor who appointed her in 2007, Adrian Fenty, lost his re-election bid. She has since organized a non-profit, StudentsFirst, which is trying to raise $1 billion to promote education reform.

[Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET March 30: Rhee now tells USAT that its findings "absolutely lacked credibillity."]

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