The Brookings study to which he refers covers the period from 2000-2007--including the three years prior to implementation of mayoral control. That three-year period included one year (02-03) that showed big gains right before the Bloomberg reforms were introduced.
In other words, with the lawyerly word "largely," he takes credit for gains he had nothing to do with and attributes them to mayoral control.
The Brookings study is based solely on state test scores, which I explained, are exemplars of grade inflation rather than actual achievement because
And then there is the strange idea that NYC kids do well on state tests because they study for them, but do poorly on national tests because they don't. Of what value is it to learn to read if one can read only for state tests? Does that mean that students can't read college textbooks or work manuals because they are prepared only to take state tests?
NAEP remains the federal audit and the best assessment in the nation. If a city or state does poorly on the audit test, then it is doing poorly. The fact that NAEP is an audit test for which students do not prepare makes it more valid, as it accurately reflects reading skill and comprehension, rather than test prep. If a city or state does poorly on the audit test, then it is doing poorly. Or, whom do you trust? Madoff's accountant or the federal auditors?
And last, Klein goes around the nation calling for national standards and tests, yet rejects the results of the national tests that we have. All in all, not a persuasive argument for
Editor's note: For another excellent analysis of why NAEP results are more reliable than those of the NY State tests -- see this posting from