The new 8th grade proficiency test, aimed to further discourage the poor, will be key in obtaining that political end.
From the NY Times:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Thursday unveiled strict new criteria for promotion to high school that could, if current testing patterns hold, put nearly a quarter of New York City’s eighth graders in danger of spending an extra year in middle school.
The new policy, which Mr. Bloomberg announced in his State of the City address, would require next year’s eighth graders to score at a basic level on standardized English and math exams, and to pass their classes in core subject areas in order to be promoted. It is stricter than similar policies that the mayor has put in place in the third, fifth and seventh grades, all in an effort to end the practice of social promotion, in which students are moved ahead despite academic problems.
The mayor has staked his legacy on his ability to overhaul the city school system, and when it comes to judging his work, the most crucial figure is the high school graduation rate. The rate under Mr. Bloomberg has edged up, but roughly half the city’s high school students fail to graduate in four years.
The new eighth-grade policy effectively acknowledges that the city’s middle schools share the blame for the dropout problem. “What this is designed to do is to candidly announce that the middle school has ownership of the high school readiness challenge for each one of our students,” Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein said on Thursday at a briefing. “There is no purpose to go to high school if the function of high school is not to complete it successfully.” . . . .
Any translators for M'Choakumchild's koan?