Lockdowns set New York City’s public-school kids back big-time, state test data just confirmed — fresh proof that the COVID-phobic teachers union put the children’s interests last.
Math scores for kids in Grades 3-8 took a nosedive — with only 38% of kids being proficient. That was a drop of nearly 8 percentage points from 2019.
Reading scores dropped in grades 3-5, but rose in grades 6-8 (though the latter figure may well reflect a dumbed-down exam, since it cuts against the national trend). And overall, less than half the kids tested as proficient in reading.
Plus, the number of city kids taking the tests was down noticeably, even allowing for lower enrollment. Since opt-outs tend to be lower-scoring, that suggests the real picture is even more grim.
Kudos to Schools Chancellor David Banks for getting the basic facts straight: “No matter what the latest test results tell you, I can tell you the system is broken in far too many ways. We are trying to create a new way forward.”
The State Education Department, meanwhile, is trying to hide the bad news. It sent the test scores to school districts statewide in mid-August, but banned public release of the info until now — and still refuses to release easy-to-compare data for the whole state. Historically, the public always got the full picture in August.
This, after SED cancelled the exams in the pandemic’s first year and made them completely optional in the second. Nor does it have any real excuse for keeping so much info under wraps now.
The obvious conclusion: Unlike Banks, the folks in charge of state education policy don’t want parents realizing the bad news, at least until after Election Day.
New Yorkers should be asking why more than half of the city’s public-school kids aren’t proficient in English or Math, despite record funding for education. Banks, to his great credit, knows that the system is a mess and that more money isn’t the answer. He’s intent on holding bureaucrats, principals and teachers accountable.
But SED, controlled by Democrats utterly beholden to teachers unions, has the opposite agenda: It wants ever-more spending and ever-less accountability.
The question is whether the special interests can succeed in stopping Banks from delivering the change the city’s kids so desperately need.