Headlines across New York this morning shout about improved test scores, especially in reading and math, almost across the board. Scores are up in the “troubled” schools of New York City (and in the less-mentioned untroubled schools), scores are up in Buffalo. The news is so universally good that some are worried about statistical goofs, or cheating.
And while most economists with the possible exception of Milton Friedman would think it’s not news, some people point out that scores are up in poorer districts that got more money for educational programs.
At a news conference in Albany, the state education commissioner, Richard P. Mills, called the results “encouraging and exciting,” saying they were evidence that the state’s emphasis on giving more money to poorer school districts and focusing on high standards was successful. “The schools have delivered,” he said. (New York Times)
The War on Education continues unabated, however. The headline in the New York Daily News: “State math and reading exam scores released; critics question improvements.”
A beleaguered parent commented at the Daily News site:
our children are forced to do homework over weekends, Christmas vacation, winter break, spring break, etc. to prepare for these tests – their scores are up because they’ve worked hard all year!
- “Teaching for Higher Test Scores,” On the Shoulders of Giants
- Norm’s Notes, “Or is it a case of inflation of results”
- Eduwonk, “New York Testing”
Other notes and resources:
- “The truth about urban schools,” Matthew Yglesias in The Atlantic (Yglesias says urban schools generally do better than average, especially when compared demographically)
- Jay Mathews, the guy who makes the Newsweek top high schools list, on some of the really, really best schools in the nation, “The Nation’s Most Elite Public Schools.”