Thursday, October 1, 2009

Behind Bloomberg Charter Announcement: Trashing His Own Record on Education

If you haven't gotten the message yet that Bloomberg's main mission has been to dismantle the public education school system, yesterday's announcement on charter schools should have made it loud and clear. But we'll leave that issue for later posts on how the DOE tilts in favor of charters every time.

Out focus of interest here is that Bloomberg has been running on his record on education, with all its lies and distortions. Yet in parsing his major initiative on charter schools, he basically trashes his own record.

Note this piece from the Bloomberg press release on the recent Hoxby study on charter schools, which has been criticized for its lack of academic rigor (here and here.)

Stanford University Professor Caroline M. Hoxby recently released a comprehensive study that found that students who were accepted into charters – who are more likely to come from poor families – performed nearly as well on state math and reading tests as students who attended school in the affluent Westchester suburb of Scarsdale. Professor Hoxby’s research found that it is the charter schools themselves – and not the pool of self-selecting students – that makes the difference. Students who gain admission to a charter school via the randomized lottery perform better than students who participate in the same random lottery, but do not get a seat due to oversubscription

In other words, Bloomberg is bragging about a study that shows kids in schools he doesn't manage do significantly better than in schools he has managed for 7 years. And he is running on that record. Brilliant. And the press will let him get away with it. Shameful.

I put up the entire Bloomberg press release for further parsing at Norms Notes.

MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES HISTORIC EXPANSION OF NYC’S CHARTER SCHOOLS

Note this:

Partner with NYCHA to Provide Facilities and Property For Charter Schools

With severe overcrowding in so many Bloomberg controlled schools, he never sought a partnership with NYCHA to relieve that situation but is promoting this for charters.

Here is the link to the more thoughtful blog which analyzed the Hoxby study
http://morethoughtful.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-is-gold-standard.html

Related:
A nice touch on Bloomberg's record from themail in DC:

DC's mayoral takeover of the public school system is based on the New York City model advocated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg has repeatedly claimed that changes made under his direction have improved education. But the New York Post reported on September 9 (http://tinyurl.com/yjf5qux) that, “City and state scores on SATs spiraled downward for the fourth straight year, according to new data. Since hitting a peak in 2005, the city's average score on each 800-point section of the SAT has dropped by 13 points in reading, to 435, and by 18 points in math, to 459. Scores on the writing section, which was introduced in 2006, have dropped by six points, to 432.”

The excuse for the drop in performance was racially tinged: “City Department of Education officials said the dramatic drop was fueled by the substantial increase in low-performing students taking the test — particularly black and Hispanic students who may not have considered college in the past.” Education officials hail in increase in minority students taking the test, “

But the same data hailed as a positive trend also highlighted an increase in the achievement gap between whites and their black and Hispanic peers since 2005. That gap has stretched by about 20 points in both math and reading — with whites now scoring an average 108 points higher in math and nearly 100 points higher in reading than minorities.”

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