NYC reforms still working
Here's Sahm's rebuttal:
Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner David Steiner deserve credit for their efforts to make the state tests more rigorous and less predictable. But the resulting tough news shouldn't diminish the real progress made by the city's schools over the last several years.
The best marker of progress is the degree to which New York City students have closed the gap with students in the rest of the state. In fact, if you take all 62 New York counties and rank them by the average change in students' scores on state math and English exams from 2002 to 2010, the five counties of New York City come out on top, with The Bronx leading the way. (See chart, right.) Indeed, The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens were the only counties in the state to show increases from 2002 to 2010.
A county-by-county ranking of test scores once would have seen all five boroughs clustered near the bottom. But over the last several years, the city has consistently climbed the ranks. Queens, for example, has risen 45 spots, from 59 in 2002 to 14 in 2010. Manhattan is up from 61 to 48.
In short, the city has demonstrably outdone the rest of the state on the same tests given to all.
And it's not just state tests. New York City is also leading the way on the "gold standard" federal NAEP exams.
By CHARLES SAHM
Last Updated: 8:41 AM, August 13, 2010