Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sex, Lies and Videotapes

By Loretta Prisco

I don't know about the sex, but there are plenty of lies, and videotapes to prove it!

Using rising test scores, Klein/Bloomberg have insisted that schools are improving and went to Washington to brag about the "miracle" of NY.
The recent realistic NYS calibrations of the standardized test scores nixed that miracle. People of faith know that turning water into wine and curing leprosy requires Divine intervention. Educating children first requires an understanding of what it means to be educated. And that bears no relation to raising test scores.

  • Klein/Bloomberg are still boasting about the increase in HS graduation rates.
Another farce. As mentioned before in these columns, in addition to the dumbing down of the Regents, woefully poor scores have been calibrated (a 38 has been made into a passing 65!). A feat easily accomplished by guessing some multiple choice questions. In addition, students who have been failing courses, even truant for the semester, are given a passing grade if they do a make up project. Voila – a graduate onto college! The result: CUNY must offer more remedial classes for incoming students from NYC high school graduates and SAT scores continue to go down.
  • Another boast (or can we call it a lie?): the achievement gap between White and African American students is narrowing. 
According to the National Assessment of Academic Performance, (NAEP), the gold standard of tests, there has been no significant closing of the achievement gap among NYC students, in any grade or in any subject since 2003. As a matter of fact, the NYS tests results show that the gap between White and Black students in ELA grew from 22 percentage points in 2009 to 30 points in 2010, and in Math the gap grew to 30 points from 17 points.
  • Another boast: Klein/Bloomberg claim to have recommitted the schools to the arts and offer the proof that they have hired139 music and art teachers in the last 3 years.  
The materials budget for art has been cut by 68%. Teachers without materials are like surgeons without scalpels. Though known for their creativity, this challenges the best of art teachers. In 1997, Project ARTS had earmarked funding for the arts. Under the current regime, this money can be moved, and is, to areas evaluated by high stakes tests. 
  • In response to questions raised in a weeklong series on NY 1, "Bars to Education", the DOE said that it didn't have the funds for summer school for incarcerated youth, yet maintains that one of its major goals for this population is "education". 
Definitely a "liar, liar, your pants are on fire". Rikers Academy alone was $485,270 in the black at the end of the 2009-10 school year. Check it out online at NY1.
  • One more for this column: The DOE claims it is "accountable, transparent and open to parents".
Oh – those noses are growing right before our eyes. You've just got to go to the videotape here. Go to ednotesonline. Watch the Chairperson of the PEP (sitting right next to Klein) refuse to allow parents to ask questions about the changed test scores and shut down the meeting. Watch the guards escort a young child, who was attempting to ask a question, right off the stage and down the stairs.

And there must be some sex in all of this – we just haven't heard about it.


Michael Fiorillo said...


There's tons of sex in this story: students, parents and teachers are getting screwed every day.

NYC Educator said...

Good points.

Nonetheless, if there turns out to be any sex in this, I'd very much appreciate not having to hear about it.

Daniel said...

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Anonymous said...

Witness parents, teachers and even a student express their outrage over Klein and the Mayor's lies at the most recent PEP. There was a unanimous call for Klein and the Mayor to be held accountable.


Anonymous said...

I think Daniel's comment says it all. Let's get the sex in here too.