Questionable contract?

If you want to volunteer for our Citizens Contract Oversight Committee, or have a tip to share, please email us at NYCschoolcontractwatch@gmail.com

Monday, August 3, 2009

NY Times falls in line with the Bloomberg PR spin control



This New York Times article on the Bloomberg/Klein record on test scores is incomplete, biased, and in some cases, clearly inaccurate.

1- The article falsely claims that fourth-grade reading scores rose on the national exams called the NAEPs, whereas there has been no significant gain since 2003, when the “Children First” reforms were introduced.

2- As reported in our book, “NYC Schools under Bloomberg and Klein: What Parents, Teachers and Policymakers Need to Know,” there has been no closing of the achievement gap between racial or ethnic groups in any grade or subject tested by the NAEPs, considered by experts the "gold standard" of assessments.

3- The article fails to mention that in fourth grade math, the one area that did show a significant increase in the NAEPs, the student exclusion rate was 25 percent, far higher than any other city tested.

4- The article fails to mention that in 8th grade reading, NYC made less progress on the NAEPs than any of the nine other cities tested.

5- The article fails to quote any independent experts or point to any evidence of test score inflation on the state exams, including lower cut scores, the repetition of similar questions, or the narrowing of topics covered, as revealed in articles in the Daily News and elsewhere.

Instead, the article quotes at great length their favorite expert, Howard Everson, head of a panel assembled by the State Education Department, who says that “New York’s tests were “about as good as we can build them,” as well as Merryl Tisch, the head of the Regents, and Joel Klein himself, all interested parties who predictably claim that the results indicate actual improvements in learning.

And though the system is full of teachers and even principals who will attest to the fact that the exams have become easier over time, the reporter chooses to quote not a single one.

Given the evident bias of this article, it appears clear that the Times has been captured by the Bloomberg/Klein PR machine, and can no longer be trusted to provide objective analysis of their education record.

If you’d like to chime in, you could ask for a correction at nytnews@nytimes.com; write a letter to the editor at letters@nytimes.com, and/or email the public editor at public@nytimes.com

9 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
caroline said...

I'm itching to see if the Times will print corrections. I've asked them to twice, in cases where articles gave clear misinformation (on different school-related topics that I was involved in, several years apart). In one case there was no response; in the second case, I pushed as hard and far as I could, and they actively refused.

If they get your middle initial wrong, they'll willingly correct that, though!

I'm a veteran daily newspaper myself, and the question of whether to decide to correct an error -- or to flat-out refuse -- didn't hit my radar when I was working. I assumed that we corrected all errors. It's pretty shocking to see from the other side how willing even the Times is to print misinformation and let it go uncorrected. I hope that's not the case this time around.

Leonie Haimson said...

I have asked for corrections several times in the case of clear misstatements made by Times reporters-- and they have flatly refused.

Bonniwell said...

Bless you, New York parents. Keep screaming about these lies about testing that have so much of the public snowed. When teachers make the same points, we are labeled as lazy and/or troublemakers. The only hope for turning this horrible situation around is for parents to become better informed and to hold politicians accountable.

Bonniwell said...

Bless you, New York parents. Keep screaming about these lies about testing that have so much of the public snowed. When teachers make the same points, we are labeled as lazy and/or troublemakers. The only hope for turning this horrible situation around is for parents to become better informed and to hold politicians accountable.

Bonniwell said...

Bless you, New York parents. Keep screaming about these lies about testing that have so much of the public snowed. When teachers make the same points, we are labeled as lazy and/or troublemakers. The only hope for turning this horrible situation around is for parents to become better informed and to hold politicians accountable.

Bonniwell said...

Good for you, New York Parents! Keep screaming about the ridiculous way these tests are being used to ruin schools. When teachers protest, we are labeled as lazy and/or troublemakers. The best hope is for parents to hold these willfully ignorant politicians and businessmen accountable.

Bonniwell said...

Sorry, folks. I didn't mean to keep posting the same thing. My computer was hicupping.