Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just The Facts

City Comptroller Bill Thompson says he's not so sure Mayor Moneybags' education reforms have helped the New York City public school system.

Thompson, a potential mayoral candidate in 2009 and a former Board of Education member, said "It's kind of undecided as to whether there's been major improvement," when asked if schools are better now that Moneybags and Klein have instituted their education reforms.

Mayor Moneybags hasn't wasted any time firing back at Thompson:

"It's pretty hard to argue with the graduation rates up 20%, math scores up 20%, English scores up," Mr. Bloomberg said yesterday. "I know Bill Thompson. I can't believe he would want to insult 80,000 teachers."


"You have a right to your own opinions, but you don't have a right to your own facts," he said. "To not acknowledge progress when you're making it is what keeps you from ever making progress."

Moneybags is correct to say that you have the right to your own opinion but not to your own facts.

The facts are that the math and English score increases he touted yesterday to the press are suspect.

The Daily News has reported that the math tests are much easier now than they used to be.

The NY Sun has reported that the reading tests are also much easier now than they used to be.

The fact is that the graduation rates he touted yesterday are also suspect.

The NY Times has reported that the city does not count special education students or discharged students in their graduation rates.

What better way to increase graduation rates than by not counting pools of students who traditionally pull down graduation rates?

So when Moneybags touts progress in the public school system, it's a special kind of progress with special kinds of facts and numbers.

If you look closely at these special facts and special numbers, they don't actually indicate progress.

No matter what Moneybags says, funky test scores and manipulated graduation rates are NOT progress.
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