Saturday, April 28, 2007


George Bush's figures on violence in Iraq do not include car bomb attacks. Things sound a little rosier when you hear only what suits your agenda:

"Since the administration keeps saying that failure is not an option, they are redefining success in a way that suits them," said James Denselow, an Iraq specialist at London-based Chatham House, a foreign policy think tank.

And Mayor Bloomberg's dropout figures don't include students who've taken GEDs:

In the reports on New York City, students who receive a GED are counted as graduates. The benefit of earning a GED, according to national research, is just a slight improvement over dropping out. On the other hand, there is a tremendous difference between earning a GED and earning a bona fide high school diploma.

Federal law requires that in calculating graduates for the purposes of No Child Left Behind, you look at students who graduate from secondary school with regular diplomas. The federal requirement does not count GED students, and the graduation rate is the percentage of students measured from the beginning of high school. Not counting them if they haven’t been there two years is just something that the State of New York has made up.

The state has now agreed to that change, and backs up the city's rosy figures.

That's what's behind the city's highly touted 50% graduation rates. Note that the Times, in its zeal to fawn all over this mayor, makes no mention of that. It's not all that hard to mimic achievement by fudging your statistics.

In fact, in this city, with this mayor, it's politics as usual.
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