The incoherence of Joel Klein's improvement/disassembly approach in NYC is all too apparent in GothamSchool's summary of the 2009 progress reports for elementary and middle schools. Just read the whole thing.
It is a mess, and these guys won the Broad Prize two years ago, so if they're not doing it right (on their own terms, by their own definitions), who is? That is to say, is fixing schools without closing them the correct answer?
Why shouldn't there be a moratorium on closing any school getting a B or above? Doesn't this prove no additional changes are needed to the contract? Problem solved? Oh wait, actually, all the data we've been collecting is inaccurate, you're still failing. Do-over! See, the schools are really failing, so our plan to close them will still be a success!
I'm surprised they've persisted with this system. Eduwonkette conducted a pretty damning analysis of the results last year--fluctuations in scores from one year to the next were pretty close to random.
Of course, reports of how easy it has apparently become to game the New York State assessments might help explain the sudden surge of "A's"
It's too bad that so many of the systems we have in place to measure school performance are so rudimentary or out of whack. It would be nice to celebrate school improvements without worrying about the reliability of the data.
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