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NYC Educational Crisis Exposed

July 29, 2010

New York State Regents Chancellor Tisch and Education Commissioner Steiner today released shockingly low math and reading assessment scores for students in grades 3 through 8.  Adjusted to reflect real proficiency on the road to graduation and college, English Language Arts (ELA) scores for New York City students dropped by 27 points, while math scores dropped 28 points.

  • Only 33% of Black students and 34% of Latino students are now on grade level for ELA
  • Only 40% of Black students and 46% of Latino students are now on grade level for Math
  • The percentage of students at the lowest level of proficiency (Level 1) increased five-fold in ELA to and nearly four-fold in math
  • Racial achievement gaps in both reading and math increased 5-10 points in ELA and 10-15 points in math

Furthermore, even if the scoring had not been adjusted this year, there would have been NO increases in student achievement in either ELA or Math since last year.

The NYC Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ) has consistently raised concerns about the the impact of DOE reforms on the true quality of learning in low-performing schools, and proposed alternative strategies for comprehensive school transformation.  Jose Gonzalez is a CEJ parent leader and the PTA President at PS 73 in the Bronx, where 4th grade ELA scores fell from 48% of students meeting standards last year to 18% this year. He said, “These test results seriously damage the credibility of the DOE and its policies. It is a tragedy that at so many schools, the vast majority of the school year is spent drilling students to pass the state test instead of on a diverse, well-rounded curriculum where children explore topics in depth. And now it turns out these tests haven’t assessed real learning, and this test prep has been a complete waste of time for students, parents, and teachers.  Now we know for sure that Bloomberg and Klein’s reforms are not producing the results they have claimed.  It is time for a true educational strategy to improve NYC public education, not just the structural changes we have seen in recent years.”

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