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Sunday, July 15, 2012

NYC Independent Budget Office: No Real Education Gains

Changes the Stakes reported, July 14, 2012:
Report Finds Student Performance on State Exams Remains Consistent
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, often boast that student performance is improving in New York City, as evidenced by the percentage of students passing state exams and graduating from high school. But a new analysis finds that most city students are holding steady, getting very similar test scores between third and sixth grades.
The study by the city’s Independent Budget Office looked at 46,400 students who were third graders in 2006 and tracked their performance on the state’s English Language Arts exams through sixth grade. Nearly 62 percent ended up at the same proficiency level three years later.
“The primary finding is one of consistency,” said Raymond Domanico, director of testing research for the budget office. “Generally, kids stayed at the same performance level relative to their grade over the three years of the study.”

Art McFarland of WABC-TV reported on July 13, 2012:
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott made it clear his first impression of this week's negative report on student achievement has not changed.
Walcott says high school students could have written a more credible report than the I.B.O. He says the report's methodology is faulty and inaccurate.
The usual narrative from the city is that student achievement has significantly and steadily improved under Mayor Bloomberg, but the report by the Independent Budget Office has a different story to tell.
According to the I.B.O. report on student achievement of selected students tracked over several years, 62 per cent were found to show no improvement between 3rd and 8th grade, while only 30 per cent improved, and 8 per cent lost ground.
I.B.O. says its methodology paints a better picture than the city's picture.
The city often points to narrowing the achievement gap between black and Hispanic students and white students, but the I.B.O. report reads: "The findings for this cohort of students indicate little evidence of a narrowing achievement gap."
The I.B.O. Report is not expected to change policy, or the city's version of student progress.

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