2009-12-11 / Top Stories

Liu Seeks Answers On School Testing Anomaly

City Councilmember and Comptroller-elect John C. Liu, a member of the City Council Committee on Education, is asking questions about the results of national test scores of New York City public school kids released on Tuesday morning, which showed "no significant improvement" in student performance from 2007.

"Both state and national exams are meant to measure the same thing: educational achievement and progress. Stagnant performance levels by kids in the City's schools on national tests, in stark contrast to vast improvements reported earlier this year on state exams, further impugn the validity of the Chancellor's incessant trumpeting of the City DOE's progress and claims that 'thousands more students made academic progress this year.'

"The national test results provide a common yardstick upon which not only student achievement can be measured, but also the reliability of the DOE's Progress Reports for Schools, 85 percent of which is purportedly based on student performance and progress. Today's sobering results, however, severely impugn the credibility of the DOE's Progress Reports for Schools, revealing them to be little more than a vehicle for agency self-promotion. Just what exactly does the Chancellor mean by 'academic progress'?

"The Department deigns such exorbitant weight on student test results to determine everything, from school resources, including teachers' tenures, to even the school's very existence. Such divergent results from these high-stakes tests demand a closer examination and further analysis of the causes by either the New York State Department of Education or the City Comptroller's Office."

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