His answer: “I personally don’t give a lot of attention to grades…. My responsibility is not merely to just grade the system but to fund the system. That’s how I am ultimately going to grade whether our public school system is working — based upon the investments we make to the people who rely on it.”
He offered nothing further about how to grade the schools or educational outcomes.
That answer was not an offhand comment taken out of context. It was a thoughtful answer that he explained. See for yourself. The question and answer start at the 47.3 mark in the video of his appearance.
After saying, “I personally don’t give a lot of attention to grades, he went on to explain that, instead, “we have to establish a rubric that speaks to the needs as well as the unique dynamics that exist.” He described some of the special challenges Chicago schools face, and said “but, unfortunately, we have had this standardization of our schools that has sucked out our imagination.” He asked how we can “grade a system when the system has not fulfilled its basic obligation of providing an equitable system that speeks to the needs?”