Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Joel Klein's Record

From Mark Gimein (via Felix Salmon), here's a well-timed story from New York Magazine:
New York City public-school kids may be dreading the end of summer, but schools chancellor Joel Klein is the one who’ll really be tested when classes begin again. Last spring, Klein was bragging about the extraordinary upswing in scores during his tenure: a 31-point rise in the percentage of students who passed state reading tests, a 41-point increase in math. That was before state authorities admitted that they’d been progressively more lenient in scoring the tests, and decided to grade more strictly.

The new stringency resulted in the elimination of most of the miraculous gains of the Bloomberg years, and an administration that had lived by the numbers is getting clobbered by them. Klein told parents that the state “now holds students to a considerably higher bar.” This would make sense only if the state hadn’t previously been lowering that bar.

Last year, NYU professor and Klein antagonist Diane Ravitch said exactly that in a Times op-ed, an assertion that Klein claimed was “without evidence.” But the fact that New York students’ scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress had moved only marginally, even as state scores skyrocketed, was manifest then and is inescapable now.
As discussed here, we've seen Klein omitting relevant statistics before.

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