Peter Goodman is one of the most astute observers of education in New York City.

His blog “Ed in the Apple” is a must-read for education buffs.

In this one, he says that the Department of Education puts more emphasis on burnishing the Mayor’s education reputation than on actually solving any problems.

The Mayor has had unlimited control of the city’s public schools for a full decade. No one could challenge his decisions. The laughable “board” rubber stamps whatever he wants.

He has relied on two strategies only: testing and choice.

He has closed over 100 schools, opened hundreds of small schools, and to the extent possible, eliminated neighborhood schools. Every parent is supposed to be a smart shopper.

The mayor’s PR machine works overtime. Every initiative is a success the day it is announced. When the initiative disappears, it happens quietly without press releases. Test scores went through the roof, until they collapsed in 2010 after the state admitted score inflation. At that time, the New York Times pointed out that there was no change in the black-white achievement gap over the previous eight years.

Data rules, except when it doesn’t.

The graduation rates have gone up but 80% of the city’s graduates who apply to the city’s community colleges require remediation in basic skills.

The Mayor’s one-man reign comes to an end in 2013 unless he anoints his successor and pours millions into his or her campaign coffers.

The Mayor is generally well-liked but parents don’t approve of his education policies, and voters are ready for him to ride off into the sunset.

The one thing he has proved beyond dispute is that a full 10 years of “reform” based on testing, choice and school closings does not improve education or the lives of children.