Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Emperor's New School Uniform

The more facts that come to light about the actual conditions in NYC schools, the more we believe that the real level of mayoral dishonesty has yet to be fully understood. The latest "revelation" is in today's NY Daily News-and the story underscores the fact that the schools are dramatically under performing: "More city kids are graduating from high school, but that doesn't mean they can do college math. Basic algebra involving fractions and decimals stumped a group of City University of New York freshmen - suggesting city schools aren't preparing them, a CUNY report shows."

And these are some of the kids that are coming from better NYC schools: "I just did this earlier. Now I forgot it again," Jennifer Fortune, 18, who graduated from Brooklyn's Edward R. Murrow High School, said when asked to answer one of the questions. "I was only required to take two years of math in high school, but I forgot a lot of it."

Still, with all of the hoo ha over the {inordinately expensive} Bloomberg miracle, this is just one more example of how the mayor has been able to shuck and jive-while using his vast fortune to inveigle supporters-about how well the schools have done under his watch. The facts reveal another reality: "These results are shocking," said City College Prof. Stanley Ocken, who co-wrote the report on CUNY kids' skills. "They show that a disturbing proportion of New York City high school graduates lack basic skills." During their first math class at one of CUNY's four-year colleges, 90% of 200 students tested couldn't solve a simple algebra problem, the report by the CUNY Council of Math Chairs found. Only a third could convert a fraction into a decimal."

So, we look forward to a vigorous investigation of the Bloomberg/Klein regime-and especially to the state senate that has convened an investigative committee to do just that. In our gut we believe that the parents of school children have been sold a bill of goods-and that there is enough smoke and mirrors here to provide the appropriate mood for hundreds of sleazy bars and taverns.