Low Scores

The Story

Last month, Mayor de Blasio trumpeted what he called a significant improvement by city students on Common Core state tests. But this month it emerged that the state had lowered the cutoff for passing, effectively moving the goalposts to make it appear that real improvement had occurred. This is just the latest in a series of scandals and revelations of fudging, data-skewing, or outright cheating by the public education establishment.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Fudging: Officials rescored 379 Regents exams across the city in order to improve passing rates at failing schools. Read more.  

  2. Skewing: The city is investigating ten cases of cheating by school officials who are suspected of doctoring tests. Read more.  

  3. Cheating: Administrators at a Brooklyn high school were fired for their role in a “massive cheating scandal” aimed at boosting graduation rates. Read more.  

“In a situation where there appears to be widespread cheating in the schools, nobody connected to the Department of Education, SCI, City Hall, or the state Department of Education looks good. It appears they aren’t being vigilant enough.”

Prof. Eric Nadelstern

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

““We have to stop lying to children,” education secretary Arne Duncan said recently at a meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA). “We have to look them in the eye and tell them the truth at every stage of their educational trajectory.” Duncan has offered seed money to states to develop tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards project initiated by the NGA and endorsed by the administration. But Tisch and Steiner need not wait for the feds to fund better tests. By putting their own house in order, they can make New York a model for the kind of political courage and educational honesty that are desperately needed all over the nation.”

On The Calendar

September 29

September 29, 2015 | New York City

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer will join the Manhattan Institute for an exclusive interview on September 29 in midtown Manhattan. The discussion will focus on the investment of the city’s pension funds, including the most broadly successful shareholder activism campaign ever launched by a single public-pension system. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

And in other news...

“After years of aggressive, centralized enforcement of its most minor rules, the New York Police Department is changing the way it disciplines its officers. Police Commissioner William J. Bratton is giving his commanders in the field far more authority in deciding how – or whether – to punish minor infractions, like misplacing a memo book or being late for court.”