Sunday, July 18, 2010

NY Times: Proficient, Proshmicient, So What's the Big Deal?


Leonie lays waste to the editorial staffs of the Daily News and NY Times while praising excellent Daily News reporters. But at least the News told the truth while not mentioning the fraud perpetrated by BloomKlein. And didn't the NY Post actually mock the DOE's credit recovery program? When Bloomberg won a third term I told people this may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as he will still be on office when the shit starts hitting the fan. Better duck.

Here are some excerpts from Leonie's post:

What are the chances that now that Bloomberg has successfully won his battle to retain nearly unlimited control over our schools, and is in the midst of his third term, the editors of the News and the Times will apologize to their readers, and admit that the smell they’ve told us was roses was really an artificial chemical, successfully concocted to fool them? Don't hold your breath.

The Daily News editorial board finally gave up today, and admitted that the city’s big gains in state test scores over the Bloomberg era have been a vast mirage, in an editorial called Harsh lesson for N.Y.

In August 2009, when Bloomberg was pressing for extension of mayoral control of the schools and his own re-election, the Times published a credulous story that recounted the steep increase in state test scores without directly quoting any of the skeptics; and also incorrectly used the DOE’s preferred date of 2002 instead of 2003 to claim improvements on the national exams called the NAEPs.


The article omitted any of the abundant evidence that the state exams and their scoring had become easier over time. (See my critique of their August 2009 article, NY Times falls in line with the Bloomberg PR spin control; and the response from Times editor, Ian Trontz: The NY Times response, and my reply. See also Wayne Barrett's take on our critique of the Times.)

When do people like Brent Staples who often writes Times editorials on education start to hang their heads in shame?

Read Leonie's full piece:
Harsh lessons for the editors of the Daily News and NY Times

And Steve Koss' comment:

It is moderately heartening to see the Daily News editorial board finally publicly concede what so many of us have known for so long: the "extraordinary gains" in Math and English Language Arts proficiency of Grade 3 - 8 children in NYC public schools as ostensibly measured by the annual NYS examinations has in fact been nothing but smoke and mirrors. In fact, it has all been a con, a sham, a massive educational fraud. Too bad that it took eight years and a lecture from someone in Albany to discover something that was already well-known, even among the paper's own reporting staff! This isn't some sudden discovery, except apparently to the folks sitting around the Daily News editorial board table.

Yet even the Daily News's editorial concession is shameful, striking the bloodless note of an anonymous, monolithic, Kafkaesque bureaucracy with its "mistakes were made" impersonality. Consider that the NY Daily News has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for mayoral control of NYC's public schools, often arguing the importance of accountability as one of its major justifications. The logic is inescapable, yet the Daily News refuses to follow where it so obviously leads: to the Mayor's office and that of his prime henchman, Joel Klein.

If after eight years, editors at the Daily News are willing to concede that there has been virtually no progress in the city's public education system, then they cannot avoid the logical consequences of their own arguments -- ACCOUNTABILITY.

Time to cut that City Hall cord, guys. Time to man up and call out the folks who've wasted billions and built an entire regime of reporting, incentivizing, school closures, and curriculum manipulation around a mirage. Time to admit that a mayor and schools chancellor who brought us all those incredible test score gains not only brought us nothing, they've done incredible, possibly irreversible harm to the city's children and its educational system as well. Most of all, it's time to face the facts: you (and most NYers) were played.

Steve Koss

1 comment:

  1. I'm posting this comment from Steve Koss on Leonie's list:

    It is moderately heartening to see the Daily News editorial board finally publicly concede what so many of us have known for so long: the "extraordinary gains" in Math and English Language Arts proficiency of Grade 3 - 8 children in NYC public schools as ostensibly measured by the annual NYS examinations has in fact been nothing but smoke and mirrors. In fact, it has all been a con, a sham, a massive educational fraud. Too bad that it took eight years and a lecture from someone in Albany to discover something that was already well-known, even among the paper's own reporting staff! This isn't some sudden discovery, except apparently to the folks sitting around the Daily News editorial board table.

    Yet even the Daily News's editorial concession is shameful, striking the bloodless note of an anonymous, monolithic, Kafkaesque bureaucracy with its "mistakes were made" impersonality. Consider that the NY Daily News has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for mayoral control of NYC's public schools, often arguing the importance of accountability as one of its major justifications. The logic is inescapable, yet the Daily News refuses to follow where it so obviously leads: to the Mayor's office and that of his prime henchman, Joel Klein.

    If after eight years, editors at the Daily News are willing to concede that there has been virtually no progress in the city's public education system, then they cannot avoid the logical consequences of their own arguments -- ACCOUNTABILITY.

    Time to cut that City Hall cord, guys. Time to man up and call out the folks who've wasted billions and built an entire regime of reporting, incentivizing, school closures, and curriculum manipulation around a mirage. Time to admit that a mayor and schools chancellor who brought us all those incredible test score gains not only brought us nothing, they've done incredible, possibly irreversible harm to the city's children and its educational system as well. Most of all, it's time to face the facts: you (and most NYers) were played.

    Steve Koss

    ReplyDelete

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