On Monday morning, two New York Times reporters captured the front page with their worries about the racial education gap in New York City, despite clear signs of gains in minority graduation rates. The reporters provide the reader with a host of mostly misleading state-provided test-score data, because the State of New York mis-constructed the proficiency scales on its statewide tests, thereby rendering interpretation of scores over time virtually impossible.
Since the state department of education not only designs tests but constructs numerous other policies that affect operations both in New York City and elsewhere in the state, it is of interest to learn whether New York City students do as well or better than students across the rest of the State of New York. If one wants to assess the work of Bloomberg and Klein, the relevant time period is between 2003 to 2009, the years for which solid data are available from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the only reliable test available.
(photo credit: Judy Baxter)