It is to be expected with a left wing mayor intent on protecting the unionised education workforce.
Technically speaking, New York state Education Commissioner John King was correct when he insisted last week that â€śwe are not retreatingâ€ť on school standards. So true â€” itâ€™s more like a surrender.
Kingâ€™s attempt to put a happy face on the rout was wishful thinking, as the parade of white flags reveals. The commissioner has been admirably bold in pushing onward, but now marches mostly alone.
From Albany to City Hall, the education-reform movement is grinding to a halt. Meaningful teacher evaluations and standardized tests for students are either on hold or moving into the mushy world of educrat gobbledygook, where vapid self-esteem is prized more than real results.
To be sure, the collapse didnâ€™t happen all at once. It recalls the Ernest Hemingway dialogue in â€śThe Sun Also Rises.â€ť
When a man asks, â€śHow did you go bankrupt?â€ť another answers, â€śTwo ways. Gradually, then suddenly.â€ť
So it is with the collapse of standards. What started as a trickle is now a gusher wiping away the tentative progress on accountability.
The biggest blow came with an innocuous-sounding press release from city Schools Chancellor Carmen FariĂ±a. She announced a new promotion policy for grades 3 through 8 that â€śtakes the temperature down around testingâ€ť while allowing â€śeducators to make decisions about the students they know best while maintaining high standards.â€ť
In plain English, that means that even if tests show Johnny canâ€™t read, weâ€™re giving him a gold star and sending him on to the next grade, where heâ€™ll fall further behind before being passed on again. Thatâ€™s the gist of social promotion, and itâ€™s now Âofficial city policy.
Mayor de Blasio later boasted of the move, saying, â€śWeâ€™re Âgoing to in every way we can move away from high-stakes testing.â€ť
Presumably, that means he favors low-stakes testing, which is testing that doesnâ€™t matter. Welcome to the new mayorâ€™s education plan, where heâ€™ll be able to claim victory because failure has been outlawed. Â Read more »