Monday, February 15, 2010

Expanding the Gap

The Daily News proclaims "Enrollment of black students in prestigious city schools drops 10% during Bloomberg reign." This is, of course, directly counter to one of their mantras, that they are closing the gap. What's their response?

"Graduation rates and test scores for black students have risen in the last eight years," said David Cantor.

Indeed, the graduation rate for black students has risen from 40% in 2002 to 51% in 2008

First of all, that's nothing but obfuscation, and even if it's true, any figures emanating from Tweed are questionable. Do they count the dropouts as dropouts, or assume they moved away and enrolled in Kansas or somewhere? Who really knows?

If we make the leap and assume it's true, the fact is Jamaica High School's graduation rates rose even more over the last four years, and its facing closure. If Bloomberg's miracle cure program can't do better than that, shouldn't the mayor and all the leaders of Tweed, at the very least, commit ritual suicide to show they mean business? After all, these are the same guys who "help" minority neighborhoods by killing their neighborhood schools. Shouldn't they put their money where their mouths are? Isn't commitment a virtue?

Perhaps. However, unlike the Tweedies, I'm not an extremist, and I don't believe in wanton destruction. Let's get real. Since neither Mayor Bloomberg, nor David Cantor, nor Joel Klein actually knows what works in education, since they can't respond to failure directly, since they either twist it into success or change the subject altogether--well--they're failing. They're failing our students consistently and substantively.

They need to move their talents somewhere they can do some good. Why don't they travel around in their Town Cars with an array of brooms and sweep up? The schools are a mess. At least if kids saw them cleaning the floors, they'd know they care.

How about it, guys? Why not do some good for once?
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