Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Good Test Scores!

Recognition is a beautiful thing, so go look at the lists of most improved schools on the 4th & 8th grade state reading & math tests. Note that the improvement is over a five-year period, not just a single year. If you're pro-testing (or even if you're not), send a letter to these schools congratulating them on their hard work. And send a copy to the newspaper!

Some reflections:

A few of the schools in the Bronx that showed improvement in Math send kids our way... a test of what the state math exam really means will be whether our students, over the next few years, really are better prepared in math.

Let no statistic go unquestioned. Some of the schools - such as Jacob A. Riis, which is not far from my apartment - may show increased test scores because the neighborhoods where they are located have drastically changed in demographics in the last five years. Some Manhattan neighborhoods have changed a lot since 1999 - meaning that the average income of residents and educational attainment of parents has increased - and so the increase in test scores might be due to a different population rather than better education. Or it might not! I certainly hope that most of these increases reflect schools educating the same kids better.

Sad to note: Look how few schools made the 8th grade list. Not a single Bronx school for Math or English Language Arts.

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