The New York Daily News (owned by billionaire Mort Zuckerman, who also owns U.S. News & World Report) often runs editorials applauding the “reforms” of the Bloomberg administration. Its editorials are anti-union, anti-teacher, and consistently supportive of the policy of closing schools that have low test scores.
But the New York Daily News has excellent reporters who don’t follow the editorial line. They just report the news. And the story today is stunning.
The headline summarizes the story: “Bloomberg’s New Schools Have Failed Thousands of City Students: Did More Poorly on State Reading Tests than Older Schools with Similar Poverty Rates.”
This analysis shows the abject failure of the policy that has been the centerpiece of the Bloomberg reforms for the past decade.
Closing schools and replacing them with new schools is also the centerpiece of the Obama-Duncan “turnaround” strategy.
Here is an excerpt from the news story. Note that the grandmother of a student in Brooklyn makes more sense than the six-figure bureaucrats who run the New York City Department of Education. Tanya King of Brooklyn for Chancellor!
…When The News examined 2012 state reading test scores for 154 public elementary and middle schools that have opened since Mayor Bloomberg took office, nearly 60% had passing rates that were lower than older schools with similar poverty rates.
The new schools also showed poor results in the city’s letter-grade rating system, which uses a complicated formula to compare schools with those that have similar demographics.
Of 133 new elementary and middle schools that got letter grades last year, 15% received D’s and F’s — far more than the city average, where just 10% of schools got the rock-bottom grades.
“It’s crazy,” said Tanya King, who helped wage a losing battle to save Brooklyn’s Academy of Business and Community Development, where her grandson was a student.
The school opened in 2005, then closed in 2012.
Instead of closing struggling schools and replacing them with something else that doesn’t work, King says, the city should help with extra resources to save the existing schools.
“You have the same children in the school,” she said. “What’s going to be the difference? Put in the services that are going to make the school better.”
Her grandson Donnovan Hicks, 11, will be transferred next fall for the seventh-grade into another Bloomberg-created school, Brooklyn’s Peace Academy, where just 13% passed the state reading exams this spring.