Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Blunt Talk by Regents Chief for City’s Schools

Here's more on Meryl Tisch and how she's holding NYC's feet to the fire – while not diminishing the tremendous progress NYC schools have made under Mayor Bloomberg, it's important that his friends and supporters continue to push for more:

"If you don't want me to tell the truth," Dr. Tisch said in a recent interview, "you have the wrong person on this job."

The confrontation was just another marker in the increasingly testy relationship between the educational leadership in Albany and City Hall. While Dr. Tisch has frequently showered praise on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — in the interview, she extolled his "selfless" commitment to the city and said, "I don't like people trashing the mayor" — she just as frequently seems to go out of her way to qualify his successes in transforming the schools.

Dr. Tisch has questioned the value of a high school diploma from the city and the reliability of test-score increases among students in grades three through eight, telling the audience at a forum in August, "I think the city has an obligation to show the public that what they've done here is real."

She has accused the city of making it too easy for students who fail a course to make up the credits. And she has undercut the city's leadership — for example, months before the city was to release its measures on how well high schools were preparing students for higher education, the state put out its own report that said three out of four students who finished high school in four years needed extra help once they got to college.

"When you have 75 percent of the youngsters graduating high schools who are going to two-year colleges needing to be remediated," Dr. Tisch said at the forum, "are you kidding me?"


News Analysis

Blunt Talk by Regents Chief for City's Schools

Michael Appleton for The New York Times

Merryl H. Tisch, State Board of Regents chancellor, has questioned the value of a high school diploma from New York City.

Published: December 6, 2011

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