"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Excuses, Excuses...

In response to test scores for New York City:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's reign as head of the nation's largest school system resulted in greatly improved graduation rates, but test scores that lagged behind the pace of other large American cities. 
New York City students' scores on national math and reading tests released Wednesday didn't show significant change in 2013 from 2011, ticking up slightly but not enough to keep up with other large cities.... 
The Bloomberg administration said it was harder for city students to improve as fast as lower-scoring cities. "As you get to higher levels of performance, the room to grow is tighter," said Shael Polakow-Suransky, the city's chief academic officer.
Does that last paragraph read like an excuse?

An excuse from a tough reformer administration in an era of "no excuses"?


I invite you to read Diane Ravitch's take, The NAEP for Urban Districts Was Released Today:

But New York City is not number 1; it is not even number 2. 
It is in sixth, or seventh, or eighth place in reading and mathematics, as compared to cities like Charlotte, Austin, Hillsborough County, Boston, and San Diego, yet its officials feel compelled to claim that they are just too darn accomplished to make improvements.

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