Leonie Haimson, founder of Class Size Matters, is a major figure in New York City education circles.

She wrote this post about the reporting of the state test scores. First, the public learned that the test scores were up. Next, those who bothered to read Commissioner Elia’s statement that accompanied the release learned that this year’s scores were not comparable to previous years’ scores. But then they saw Commissioner Elia and the media celebrating the test score gains that were not comparable to previous years.

What you will learn from her post is that there is almost always a political slant in reporting scores, especially these days, when so many politicians want to claim credit for rising scores. If officials want the scores to look good, they will magnify gains. Or they can change the passing mark to create artificial gains. Or they can convert raw scores to higher scores. When they first get started, they want the scores as low as possible so they can claim gains afterwards.

Leonie provides the historical context that was absent from reporting on this year’s scores. We have seen this play before. We saw the scores go up and up and up from 2002-2009. Then an independent team of researchers studied the tests and the state acknowledged score inflation. And the scores came crashing down. But not until after Mayor Bloomberg was safely re-elected to a third term, based in large part on the historic improvement in test scores (that disappeared in 2010).

It is time to admit that the scores are malleable. What do they represent? One thing for sure is that the kids with the advantages are always at the top, and the kids without the advantages are always at the bottom. No matter how often we test, no matter what the test, the results are unchanged year after year.

Maybe it is time to step back from the incessant testing and to focus instead on interventions that might change the life chances for children and the educational outcomes as well.