Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bloomberg's Data

For years I have been saying that all the data Bloomberg claims as evidence that New York has the lowest crime rates and fire fatalities in two generations and rising test scores and graduation rates that are a direct result of his "reform" efforts in education are bullshit.

With stories abounding that the vaunted COMPSTAT crime stats are indeed phony
(many crimes go unreported or are ratcheted down from felonies to misdemeanors so that precicnt commanders can show Bloomberg that crime rates are decreasing every year), the Times takes a look at Bloomgerg's claims about education and education data:

Of all Mr. Bloomberg’s policies, though, education has been more of a flashpoint than crime when it comes to statistics. The mayor and Joel I. Klein, the schools chancellor, have generally succeeded in getting their way on major policies, including the reauthorization of mayoral control last year. The administration has also been praised by President Obama and Arne Duncan, the education secretary, for its approach.

But during the mayoral campaign, Mr. Bloomberg’s Democratic opponent, William C. Thompson Jr., echoed the concerns of vocal parents and some teachers, accusing the mayor of manipulating and even falsifying statistics.

Norman Siegel, a civil liberties lawyer, resurrected some of those concerns in the wake of the crime survey. After returning from a vacation, he said he had received numerous messages from parents who were apoplectic about the administration’s recent decision to close 19 schools because of poor performance.

“A lot of the parents and teachers were calling me and telling me that the data are not accurate,” Mr. Siegel said. “So the question immediately becomes, is the data that’s now being used by the Bloomberg administration being manipulated to produce a result-oriented policy decision? It’s early to tell how much it could affect Bloomberg’s reputation and his legacy, but it does create some concern, and there’s potentially a cloud of uncertainty.”

Well, I say dig in, boys.

The more the press looks closely at Bloomberg's education reform movement and the stats he touts to show it's a success, the more they will find dumbed down tests, manipulated test scores, phonied graduation rates, and data created to back up school privatization policies that have already been decided upon.

They will also find lots of waste and mismanagement at Tweed, where no-bid contracts to school privatization cronies are the order of the day and destruction of the records of those contracts a regular occurrence. Corruption is rife at Tweed and if an independent auditor ever got in there, lots of people would be frog-marched out in handcuffs.

Now we just need the press to do this digging.

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