Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Schools for Scoundrels

Remember when Mike Bloomberg said that we should judge him on his educational accomplishments? We do-and as the results come in the mayor grades out with a big fat F; like an East Harlem eatery with rats. What tickles us, however, is the statistical fudging that is going on to put lipstick on the Bloomberg school pig-kinda familiar to all of us at Willets Point.

The latest info is brought to us by the NY Post's Michael Goodwin who reports on rampant grade inflation and simple cheating by teachers who are being pressured to pass substandard students. As Goodwin point out: "Fraudulent stats certainly are not an issue at every school, or even most. But they are clearly a problem when only half of all students do math and English at grade level, yet more than 95 percent are routinely promoted. And with 75 percent of grads who go to city community colleges needing remediation, a diploma does not guarantee an educated student.

Goodwin reports that he is being bombarded by teacher emails about the burgeoning cheating scandal but the DOE is reacting, well, it really isn't reacting at all:

"Obviously, city officials don't take the issue seriously. Cheating allegations were raised against the principal by students and teachers at Lehman HS in The Bronx. City Hall announced a probe, even though the principal got a $25,000 bonus for the school's progress. That was in 2009, and the probe is still not finished. Meanwhile, Lehman was recently selected for the federal "restart" program, which will mean more money and a nonprofit partner to help teachers -- and the same principal.

So, for some, cheating pays."

It sure does, just ask the statistical fudgers over at EDC. Liars figuring should be elevated into an Olympic sport in NYC-with the mayor getting the first place gold Pinocchio award. But cheating is seriously hurting the schoolkids of this city-as the Post opines this morning: "New York's school system is putting on a seminar in how to waste billions. Care to watch? New York spends $18,126 per high-school pupil, 73 percent higher than the national average of just $10,499, according to the Census Bureau. Logic would dictate that spending this much on education should yield decent results. Well, logic can buzz off. Just 73.5 percent of state high schoolers graduated in 2009 -- ranking New York an abysmal 39th nationally."

And in NYC itself:

"Sure, there's been a slow and steady increase in graduation rates since Mayor Bloomberg came into office in 2002. But considering just how many grads are functionally illiterate, that's not too much to brag about. Some 74.4 percent of city public high-school grads entering City University community colleges required remedial classes -- meaning that their dozen years in public school didn't do the job. So even while graduation rates should indicate that kids are ready for work and college, tens of thousands are being pumped out without a basic education."

On the EDC front, if these traffic data deniers are allowed to get their way it will be the citizens of Queens who will find themselves flunking Commuting 101. It is time for some honest public servants to step forward and expose all of the self serving lies before it is too late.