Cuomo Cites School Crisis in New York; Data Suggest Otherwise ???
"The governor is misinformed," Karen E. Magee, president of the state teachers' union, said on Wednesday. "New York has one of the strongest public education systems in the nation."
Asked how he would characterize New York's overall performance, Mr. Pallas said: "I think that everyone would likely agree that we want students to leave high school being able to do a lot more than they can right now. But the characterization of this as a crisis is a political argument."
To the Editor:
Re "Cuomo Cites School Crisis; Data Suggest Otherwise" (news article, Jan. 24):
Some critics claim that the education crisis that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has rightly called out is just a myth: You report that they say "it would be hard to justify describing the situation in New York as a crisis, unless persistent mediocrity itself were a crisis." This reminds me of the difference between a recession and a depression: A recession is when your neighbor is unemployed; a depression is when you are.
Similarly, whether you believe that our school system is in crisis may depend upon whether you are forced to send your child to a failing school, which the crisis-deniers plainly do not do.
In New York State, nearly 800,000 students in grades 3 to 8 fail to meet grade standards. In a kindergarten class of 30 minority children, just two will graduate from college. In New York City, 143,000 children are stuck in failing schools, where less than one in 10 can read or do math; 96 percent of them are minority children, and 93 percent are poor.
To those who doubt that we have a crisis, I say: Enroll your child in one of the failing schools to which we relegate the poor and the disenfranchised. You will quickly change your mind.
New York, Jan. 26, 2015
The writer, a former chairwoman of the New York City Council's Education Committee, is the founder and chief executive of Success Academy Charter Schools.