Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Not Adding Value(Continued): Daily News Finds Bloomberg's Small Schools Initiative To Be Miserable Failure

The Mayor of Money lives in an alternate reality where up is down, war is peace and closing big schools to open small schools all make sense.

Except the Daily News finds the Bloomberg "Small Schools" initiative doesn't make sense at all - unless the intent is to simply close down schools - because the small schools actually perform worse than older schools serving similar populations:

The signature Bloomberg administration reform of shutting down failing schools and replacing them with new schools has — itself — failed thousands of city students, a Daily News analysis finds.

The new schools opened under the mayor were supposed to have better teachers, better principals, and, ultimately, better test scores than the dysfunctional failure mills they were replacing.

But 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.


The News conducted its analysis by grouping 154 new schools into one of five poverty categories based on how many kids in the school were eligible last year to receive a free lunch. It then compared the percent of students who passed the state reading test in each school to the average passing rate for older schools in the same poverty group.

Of the 154 schools, 90 had lower passing rates than the average school in their group.

That translates to massive failure: Just 38% of students at elementary and middle schools created by the Bloomberg administration passed the reading exams, compared with 47% of students citywide.


“This is additional evidence that these (new) schools are not performing better than their peer schools,” said NYU Prof. Robert Tobias, who led the city’s testing program before Bloomberg took office.


“(The administration has) been focused on expanding school choice by creating small schools as the solution to school failure when they’re setting these schools up for failure,” said Coalition for Educational Justice parent leader Zakiyah Ansari.

But of course we still live in Bloomberg's alternate reality where his small schools program is a rousing success and if, by chance, it actually isn't, well, that isn't his fault.

It's the fault of the teachers and the union.

Because it's always the fault of the teachers and the union.

So just let Bloomberg shut down all the large schools in the city and open hundreds of new smaller schools and all will be well.

Except it won't.

Just another example of how Bloomberg, the ultimate value-added taskmaster, continues to subtract value from New York City and the New York City school system through his policies.

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