It came as no surprise to educators that the results from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test showed "NO SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN STUDENT PROGRESS" since the last NAEP test back in 2011. Moreover, the academic achievement gap between Asians/Whites and Blacks/Hispanics showed no narrowing and is as unacceptably wide as ever. Finally, during the entire Bloomberg tenure from 2002-13, the eighth grade NAEP results have barely budged while the fourth graders improved only one grade level in Math and Reading. To say that the Bloomberg educational legacy is a "mixed bag" is putting it kindly.
Why is there so little academic improvement, when using the NAEP test results, known as the "gold standard" for education? The answer is quite simple. Under Mayor Bloomberg's "education on the cheap" program, schools cannot hire the "quality teachers" that make a difference in a child's academic achievement. Instead under the "(un)fair student funding formula", schools hire the "cheapest teachers", usually inexperienced "newbies" who have no classroom management skills, lack deep curriculum knowledge, and many are unable to have the "passion to connect with the students". In fact, 50% of these "newbie teachers" will leave the teaching profession within five years and many more will leave by taking a less stressful and higher paying position in the suburbs or leave the classroom for Administrative jobs.
Furthermore, class sizes have increased during the Bloomberg Administration's control of the New York City Schools with over three additional students added to the average class and even higher for the lower grades where class size is most important. Even when the State was required to add extra funding to the New York City Schools as part of a lawsuit. The Bloomberg Administration gave it to the DOE to do as they pleased without targeting it to reduce lass size. The result? The money went for other things and class sizes actually rose!
Yes, the DOE budget doubled during the Bloomberg years but the funds went for expensive programs supervised by high-priced consultants, technology that was not classroom applicable, and adding unnecessary services that Tweed makes the schools pay for out of their tight budgets. In fact, since 2007 the average school budget has dropped 14%.
Why didn't the New York City 4th and 8th grades show significant improvement in the 2013 NAEP tests? It's the lack of "quality teachers" and rising class sizes that has resulted in Mayor Bloomberg's "education on the cheap" policy.