Saturday, October 06, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg's Education Legacy Will Go Down As A Failed Attempt In Education Reform.

The Mayor's attempt to change the New York Public School System has been shown to be a failure and the latest polling numbers have shown that only 29% of the general public believe he has done a fair to good job when it comes to education.  While the Mayor points to the bogus high school graduation rate as a measure of success, most educators realize that the graduation numbers are heavily influenced by loads of "credit recovery" that in some cases consisted of going on a computer of a couple of days to get credits. However, real academic achievement under the Bloomberg Administration has found to be elusive at best and non-existent for the most part.  Let's look at his failure to improve student academic achievement in his twelve year tenure.

Student Academic Achievement:  Only 20.7% of high school graduates are considered "college and career ready".  Worse, the Bloomberg touted small schools have an astounding 10.7% college and career readiness" score.  That means only one out of every ten small school students are ready for the real world beyond high school.

Racial/Income Achievement gap: The academic achievement gap between Blacks/Hispanics and Whites/Asians are as wide as ever and lately has actually widened!  So much for narrowing the gap.

SAT Scores: The latest SAT scores were a disappointment to the City as the State scores inched upward the City scores either stayed flat or fell not good when you claim that education reform will make all learners academically proficient.

College Readiness:: For the half of the New York City students who go to college, a mind blowing 22.6% of them must take triple remediation courses in Math, English, and Writing just to qualify for college credit courses.  I would not be too anxious to take credit for such an abysmal failure rate.

College Dropout Rate: The majority of New York City students that go to community college never finish.  According to the latest information 51% of the students drop out of community colleges and only 28% actually achieve a two or four year degree.

Tight School Budgets: Under the Mayor, school principals have been faced with increasingly tight budgets and some of their resources must pay for unwanted and unneeded services from their Children First Networks that can siphon as much as 15% of their budgets.  Furthermore, the much touted "Race to the Top" funds, which New York City received $300 million was not used for the classroom but, according to Eric Nudelstein in Schoolbook, was squandered by the Mayor and Tweed into top down imposed questionable programs and ill-fitted Common Core requirements that showed no academic effects in the classroom.

Class Sizes: The failure to reduce and in some cases increased class sizes will be the legacy of failure associated with the Bloomberg Administration.  In the Mayor's attempt to vilify teachers and not replace teachers who left the system, class sizes have gradually increased over the Mayor's last term and is the highest in the State.  See Leonie Haimson's testimony about class size issues.

Closing Schools: One of the Mayor's lasting hallmarks will be the closing of schools that didn't meet his standards and had Tweed make sure schools he targeted for closing would be starved of resources and given a large percentage of potentially low achieving ELL and Special Education students.  Jamaica High School is a textbook case of how the DOE goes about destroying a school they want closed.

 In summary, the Mayor's education is a failure and deserves the grade of "F"


reality-based educator said...

Everything you say is true, Chaz - and yet, because he owns the media, or his friends own the media, he doesn't get the blame for these failed policies. Murdoch, Zuckerman, et. al. depict these problems as the fault of teachers. Accountability never seems to be for the big guy.

Michael Fiorillo said...

If you think that Bloomberg ever had the intention of improving the schools, then, yes, of course he has failed.

But that never was his purpose. Instead, the agenda was to destabilize, fragment and privatize the system, while re-ordering labor relations by neutralizing the UFT and eliminating seniority and tenure.

Looked at that way, Bllomberg and his vampire apparatchiks have been all too successful. Even if the Bloomberg/Tweed regime were to be overturned today and replaced by a humane and competent administration, it would take years, possibly decades, to reverse the damage.

They've been highly successful in achieving their primary and venal goals: establishing school governance on their terms, re-ordering labor relations and successfully applying the methods of Disaster Capitalism to public education.

And don't think that, without massive parent/student/teacher mobilization, any of his successors will do things differently. They may do a slightly better job of concealing their contempt for common humanity, but the policies will remain the same.

Anonymous said...

Perdido and Mike got it right. The only way I can sum it up is this way and I'm borrowing Quint's line from "Jaws." If I were ever to shake or look at the mayor's hands, I would tell him: "You got silly hands - been counting money your whole life!"