2009-10-02 / Letters

Numbers Can Lie

Dear Editor,

There are but two ways seventy-five per cent of Rockaway Schools merit the grade of "A" for performance. The first is that the test scores were handled in what can be called a creative fashion. The second is that the tests themselves could have been adjusted to the point of achieving the desired outcomes. "What is that?" We are schooled to believe that numbers don't lie. Well, if it's not the numbers, it's the tests. How can such a bold statement be substantiated?

But a few short years ago, more than one of our elementary schools was put on the Regents' list under review (for poor performance). Could they have turned around so quickly? Has the Mayor bought some sort of a miracle? The real proof that something is rotten in the schools of Rockaway (and elsewhere in this city) is the recently published article showing how much more poorly our city kids are scoring on the SAT's than ever before. Consequently, one would think if we were getting A's on our school tests, we should be scoring higher, not lower, on our SATs. It is a bit suspect that these SATs, not their make-up or their grading, are not controlled by New York City. Both tests and results, as you may recall, are solely under the aegis of Princeton, New Jersey where the City has neither influence nor control. Something does not compute here.

Mayor-for-life Bloomberg, has been extolling his education plank as one of his mightiest achievements in his eighth (and should be final) year of his mayoralty. Is it possible his numbers are not truthful? If you, like me, find his boastful headlines a bit suspect, you would have to wonder what other aspects of his mayoralty are also hollow. Putting aside his Catherine the Great attitude toward the voters of New York City for a moment, isn't it a bit disingenuous of our mayor to run for a third term; and, moreover, to run on a platform whose major plank is suspect? Did he conveniently forget to include in his planks congestion pricing and tolls on East River Bridges, both killers for Rockaway and most assuredly to be resurrected were he to be our three term mayor?

The voters of this city must confront the fact that we got along without Mayor-for-life before the Giuliani era and we can get along without him now. We are citizens in the land of opportunity. How can we claim this if there is no room at the top of New York City politics because it is being monopolized by a man who thought so little of the voters' preferences that he rejected our votes……twice? It is not to argue that the Mayor loves his adopted city. It is the voters for which he obviously has distain. If he does love this city as he professes he does, then let him allow its politics to follow the way of its voters. Then, like Caroline Kennedy, he can be amongst the

Letters wealthy volunteers who devote their time and energy to make this entire city (not just Manhattan) better for all New Yorkers.

JOAN METTLER

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