From AfterEd, here's Diane Ravitch discussing mayoral control, in NYC and elsewhere. I mostly agree with her, but if I need to nitpick, I'd disagree that Mayor Mike is actually holding kids "accountable." Though he's paid a lot of lip service to holding kids back, he's also terrorized administrations and teachers into passing everyone with the threat of bad grades, withholding of merit pay, and school closures. Furthermore, Tweed has come up with the preposterous concept of giving kids credit for "seat time."
So they have the best of both worlds. On the one hand, they can claim they're cracking down on the miscreants who fail to meet standards. On the other, they can juke the stats relentlessly and claim the "reforms" are working.
This notwithstanding, the entire facade crumbles when confronted with the facts, as you'll see below: