Monday, May 04, 2009

Junk Bond Rates

The NY Post continues with its "Boolah, Boohla," over the mayor's outstanding stewardship of the city's public schools-this time ranting and raving over the newly released graduation rates: "The high-school graduation rate -- the ultimate barometer of academic success -- has shot up markedly under mayoral control, according to state and city statistics."

Besides needing the same forensic accountant that the MTA could use, these numbers need to be understood with a degree of subtlety-something that the story's headline certainly lacks. But the Post does manage to get the real news of the Bill Gates sponsored evaluation of the schools into the piece-buried toward the end of the story, of course: "The problem, Gates said, is that too many of the city's graduates are still unprepared for college. Less than 40 percent of the class of 2007 met the City University's standard for college readiness, he said, adding that graduates of small schools did no better."

Left unsaid, however, is how these rates were achieved-especially since they don't reflect genuine achievement that could really be a source of pride. Just another reason why the system needs an independent auditor-and some checks and balances.