Grading the Graders
February 13th, 2008

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has constantly trumpeted the need for accountability and trotted out statistic after statistic to bolster his claims that the Bloomberg/Klein stewardship of New York City schools has been a ringing success. Today, Class Size Matters, an advocacy group and frequent critics of the leadership at Tweed, released its own report card of sorts. And it finds Bloomberg and Klein to be a less than stellar performers.

The report is base on responses form parents. A polling organization conducted a telephone survey of a random sample of more than 600, while more than 1,000 other parents submitted their responses on-line. The random sample tended to have lower incomes and be less well educated than the on-line respondents, many of whom are active in the schools.

But the groups responded similarly on many issues and tended to be critical of many aspects of how the schools are run. An overwhelming percent of both groups, for example, believes that class size has stayed the same or even increased in the last few years. When confronted with several educational reforms, more than 70 percent of both groups said class reducing class size - a low priority for the administration — would work best to improve our schools.

More than half of the parents in both surveys - and over 70 percent of those who responded on-line - disapproved of using test scores to determine whether students should be promoted, a policy Bloomberg now plans to expand to eighth graders. In another apparent rebuff to Bloomberg policies, 80 percent of parents in the telephone survey and more than 60 percent of on-line respondents thought the Department of Education should be led by an educator, something Chancellor Klein is not.

Given such differences, it is hardly surprising that many of the respondents had doubts about mayoral control of schools, which is up for renewal next year. Nineteen percent of on-line respondents and 29 percent of the random sample said the system should be maintained in its current form, with the largest group calling for modification of the existing system.

By on February 13, 2008, 1:59 pm
In category: Education,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Grading the Graders”

  1. Melodee Kraker Says:
    January 8th, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Very fascinating post.

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