Tuesday, March 6, 2007
first-ever science curriculum? no
The DOE had a press event today to announce what it called the "first-ever" citywide curriculum in science. Maybe they don't know this, but there have been citywide curricula in science in the past. Chancellor Rudy Crew created one; so did Chancellor Frank Macchiarola. So did superintendents of the NYC public schools in previous decades.
The press release also made the absurd claim that NYC did well on the NAEP science exam in 2005 (we "outperformed comparable cities" is the way they put it), that's not true either. NAEP is the federal test that has been given to 10 or 11 cities in 2002, 2003, 2005, and again this year. NYC has always scored among the top tier, either second, or third. In science, released just this past November, we had abysmal scores. 54% of 4th graders were "below basic." 64% of 8th graders were "below basic." Three-quarters of Black and Hispanic 8th graders were "below basic." The NAEP science scores were a reflection of the shameful neglect of the teaching of science during the past few years. Nothing there to boast about.
As for the curriculum, it turns out there is no curriculum! There is only an announcement that they plan to get one or buy one or something. It does not exist!