Small jumps in the Big Apple?
Given Gadfly's many doubts about Mayor Michael Bloomberg's education efforts (see "A rush to judgment?"), we pondered how to present the news that proficiency scores for Big Apple fourth graders have jumped 10 percent this year (accompanied by a slight dip among eighth graders). We considered quoting the late Senator Russell Long's apothegm that even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while. We pondered voicing widespread doubts about inordinate numbers of ELL students who were exempted from the test. We contemplated cautioning that it's comparatively easy to effect gains in fourth grade but unless they're sustained in eighth grade (and beyond) they're just a candle in a cave. In the end, however, let us simply note that we're pleased to see these gains in New York, as we are everywhere they actually occur.
"Literacy test scores rise for urban students in N.Y.," by David Herszenhorn, New York Times, May 18, 2005