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Charlotte Thomson IserbytForced Out?… Or Found Out?

An arti­cle titled “Tulane’s Cowen Insti­tute head, John Ayers, resigns after botched report on New Orleans schools,” writer Jes­si­ca Williams of The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) report­ed on 11/10/14 that

John Ayers, exec­u­tive direc­tor of Tulane University’s Cowen Insti­tute for Pub­lic Edu­ca­tion Ini­tia­tives, said Mon­day he is resign­ing at the end of Novem­ber. His announce­ment comes a month after the non-prof­it research orga­ni­za­tion retract­ed its wide­ly cit­ed report on gains in New Orleans high schools because of botched method­ol­o­gy.

The repu­di­at­ed report used what’s called a “val­ue-added” mod­el to pre­dict aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance at 25 high schools, based on stu­dents’ socio-eco­nom­ic stand­ing and past test­ing his­to­ry. But the researchers’ con­clu­sion — that many high school­ers do bet­ter than expect­ed, giv­en their back­ground — was inac­cu­rate due to their flawed meth­ods, Ayers said. “We apol­o­gize for this mis­take,” Ayers said. [links removed]Cowen graphic

An ear­li­er report in The Times-Picayune by this same reporter, “Tulane’s Cowen Insti­tute retracts New Orleans schools report, apol­o­gizes,” (Octo­ber 10, 2014) stat­ed that

In a high-pro­file embar­rass­ment, Tulane University’s Cowen Insti­tute for Edu­ca­tion Ini­tia­tives on Fri­day retract­ed its wide­ly cit­ed Oct. 1 report on New Orleans pub­lic high school per­for­mance. The study con­clud­ed that most schools are post­ing high­er grad­u­a­tion rates and bet­ter test scores than could be expect­ed, giv­en the socio-eco­nom­ic dis­ad­van­tages of their stu­dents.…

The repu­di­at­ed report, “Beat­ing the Odds: Aca­d­e­m­ic Per­for­mance and Vul­ner­a­ble Stu­dent Pop­u­la­tions in New Orleans Pub­lic High Schools,” has been removed from the non-prof­it institute’s web­site. Cowen’s exec­u­tive direc­tor, John Ayers, said the research was inac­cu­rate.

John Ayers

John Ayers

Offi­cials deter­mined the report’s method­ol­o­gy was flawed, mak­ing its con­clu­sions inac­cu­rate,” Ayers said. “The report will not be reis­sued.” The insti­tute plans to “thor­ough­ly exam­ine and strength­en its inter­nal pro­to­cols” to ensure its future reports are accu­rate and have been appro­pri­ate­ly reviewed, he said. [links removed]

Ayers told The Times-Picayune that the flawed report and his sud­den depar­ture are unre­lat­ed.

Is it pos­si­ble that, in addi­tion to the high-pro­file embar­rass­ment dis­cussed above, that’s ini­tial and ongo­ing expo­sure of John Ayers’ back­ground may have con­tributed to Ayers res­ig­na­tion?

This blog has cov­ered the fol­low­ing John Ayers’ activ­i­ties:

  1. John Ayers is the broth­er of Com­mu­nist build­ing bomber Bill Ayers;
  2. John is the ex-VP of the Com­mu­nist-lean­ing Carnegie Foun­da­tion for he Advance­ment of Teach­ing;
  3. John cre­at­ed the first eight char­ter schools in Chica­go;
  4. John is involved in imple­ment­ing, inter­na­tion­al­ly, tax-fund­ed school choice/charter schools with no elect­ed boards;
  5. John has been involved in pro­mot­ing, inter­na­tion­al­ly, life­long com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion (lim­it­ed learn­ing for life­long labor).