Thursday, November 20, 2008

Klein Took a Beating at the PEP, Heads Off to Australia to Heal

Have one on me, Joel

I reported on Monday's Panel for Educational Policy meeting the other day.

Read Patrick Sullivan's accounts on the budget cuts (Tweedies put them into buckets) and
Klein Stiffs Special Ed Parents on the NYC Public School Parent blog. Patick did his usual great job as the Manhattan PEP rep raising questions. Why is he the only borough rep, all of whom have to be parents, to do this while the other 4 sit there like statues? (Contact your borough President and ask that question.)

I was sitting a few feet away from Joel Klein while one person after another used their 2 minutes to hammer him. Special ed parents were so angry (and poignent) after Klein cancelled the special ed agenda item so Jim (Drone) Liebman could deliver his ARIS presentation. (Remind me if I am ever on death row not to hire Liebman.) Klein also had angry ATRs and rubber room people to deal with. And had to answer questions from people connected to Jeremy Garrett's rubber room movie, at one point saying something like, "Ok already, I know you're making a movie."

Well, did sit there an take it and was looking pretty pale. I had an interesting interchange with Klein which was illuminating (to me) but will report on that another time.

I told him to enjoy his trip to Canberra, Australia next week where the government seems to think Klein and Bloomberg have done a great job and are considering a similar system of school grade accountability. (I always ask this, but doesn't Klein have a massive school system to run instead of racing to every single opportunity to propagandize?)

One of our internet buddies, Trevor Cobbold and "Save Our Schools" are awaiting Klein with a 12-page report called New York is Not Working. Email me if for a copy or sign up at the SOS site.
Some of the headings are:
No improvement in average student achievement No reduction in achievement gaps Misleading and inaccurate data

An SOS press release states:

The Federal Education Minister is bringing Klein to Australia this month to tout education reforms which she wants in Australia, such as reporting individual school results, but which are clearly not working.

National tests in reading and mathematics show that student achievement in New York City schools has mostly stagnated under the reign of the City’s Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein. The less reliable state tests show a mixture of small increases and declines, a pattern which is similar to the four years preceding Klein.

Average scores have not improved and the large achievement gaps between different groups of students have not reduced.

Average scores in reading and mathematics in Grades 4 and 8 in New York City have mostly stagnated since 2003, with virtually no improvements for Black, Hispanic and low income students.

There has been little or no change in the difference in average scores between Black and White students, Hispanic and White students and low income and other students in New York City since 2003. The achievement gaps remain as large as they were when Klein took charge.

Mr Cobbold said that the Federal Education Minister and her advisors have been much too uncritical of Klein’s claims of success.

The SOS research reveals that the NYC Schools Chancellor resorts to several artifices to claim success for his reforms.

For example, he often uses the 2002 results as the comparison benchmark instead of 2003. The 2003 tests were conducted 6 months prior to the implementation of his reforms, so this is the appropriate comparison point. Using 2002 exaggerates the impact of the reforms because there were significant increases in student achievement from 2002 to 2003, but this was well before Klein’s changes were made.

He refuses to report the margins of statistical error on test results, which is vital information for interpreting changes in test results. He generally uses the less reliable state test data instead of the independent national results.

The main SOS site is here:

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