Gary Rubinstein is quite the sleuth when anyone makes a claim about educational results that seem too good to be true.


A few years ago, he helped me pin down some whoppers when Secretary Arne Duncan, President Obama, and then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed they discovered miracle schools that had a 100% graduation rate, or miraculous score gains, or some other incredible statistic. His research helped me write an article for the New York Times about miracle schools, debunking the notion that anyone can overcome poverty if they do something simple, like firing the entire staff or, better yet, raise their expectations.


Gary created a website to report and analyze sitings of miracle schools, whose magic melted on closer inspection. The purpose was not to say that schools could not get better, but that improving schools is hard work. not subject to the magic of press releases and political manipulation.


After the appearance of that article, the miracle claims briefly subsided, but Gary found that Duncan recently tweeted about a high school in Colorado with a 100% graduation rate.


He checked it out, and discovered yet again that this was not a miracle school. It was true that 100% of the seniors graduated, but only 62% of the ninth grade cohort made it to graduation.


As Arne loves to say, we should stop lying to our children.