Friday, April 10, 2009

Bloomberg Education Record Debunked by Ravitch in NY Times

In today's NY Times op-ed, Diane Ravitch suggests Obama's Education Secretary ought to do his homework before he lavishes praise on Mike Bloomberg:

Mr. Bloomberg’s allies say that the results of the current system are so spectacular that the law should be renewed without change. Secretary Duncan agrees: “I’m looking at the data here in front of me,” he said while in New York. “Graduation rates are up. Test scores are up ... By every measure, that’s real progress.”

It sounds good, but in fact no independent source has verified such claims.

On the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress — widely acknowledged as the gold standard of the testing industry — New York City showed almost no academic improvement between 2003, when the mayor’s reforms were introduced, and 2007. There were no significant gains for New York City’s students — black, Hispanic, white, Asian or lower-income — in fourth-grade reading, eighth-grade reading or eighth-grade mathematics. In fourth-grade math, pupils showed significant gains (although the validity of this is suspect because an unusually large proportion — 25 percent — of students were given extra time and help). The federal test reported no narrowing of the achievement gap between white students and minority students.
Diane goes on to look at dubious graduation rates and offers her recommendations for changes in governance. Full article here.


Jennifer said...

Mayor Bloombergs ambitions are becoming increasingly obvious. I'm a NYC Teacher. I along with hundreds of other teachers have been subject to human and civil rights abuses untold of in any other part of our country. The infamous rubber rooms and the use of them to destroy public education as we know it needs to join the Mayoral Control argument regardless of whether its embarrassing to the UFT or not.
Of all the arguments being made, it's the strongest justification for the removal of his authority capable of arousing public sentiment and getting public support.
Visit our website at and help us get the word out.

Jennifer Saunders

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Anonymous said...

Jennifer, if your union wuld allow incompetent and inept teachers to be FIRED without the absurd processes imposed by the UFT contract, then there would be no "civil rights abuses".

The REAL civil rights abuse is the education and resources you and your UFT allies deny the most needy of children in your selfish pursuit of job security at ANY price.

Were I a member of the UFT, I would hang my head in shame.