I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, December 9, 2011


To paraphrase Atrios: quick, someone put together an education bloggers ethics panel!
On Tuesday, one lucky group of New York City journalists were treated to an evening of drinks, pizza squares, and funny gift exchanges at Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s annual Holiday Party for local press.
In attendance this year were reporters from the New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, CBS, Fox, and other outlets. The journalists, no doubt straining to retain their “objectivity” throughout, were able to schmooze with dignitaries such as Bloomberg’s longtime partner Diana Taylor (who sits on the Board of Directors for Brookfield Properties, the retail firm that partially owns Zuccotti Park) and Paul Browne, spokesperson for the New York City Police Department.
Bloomberg bestowed “gag gifts” upon a number of journalists, quipping that they “are reserved only for ‘the one percent,’” according to Fernanda Santos, an education reporter for the New York Times. Santos herself received  a fake Department of Education “VIP Security Pass.”
“I had no reservations going to the party,” Santos told me. “It’s a good time and a fun tradition the mayor’s press office started some years back.”
Yeah, sounds like a hoot. Meanwhile:
The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from this week’s release by the National Assessment of Educational Progress: Reading and math achievement by New York City’s students is dismal.
The federal test compares progress by fourth- and eighth-graders in 21 big cities. A mere 24% of all New York City eighth-graders read at the NAEP proficiency level; only 12% of black and Hispanic students attained proficiency.
In eighth-grade math, a similar 24% of city students scored at or above the NAEP proficiency level. That amounts to a modest six-percentile-point increase from the 2003 NAEP tests, but the average eighth-grade math improvement of all the big city school districts measured by the feds is 12 points during that period.
OK, let's be fair: as I've said before, "proficiency" on the NAEP is not a basic level of literacy as the label implies - it's actually a high standard of achievement. Still, for a guy who was running around in front the cameras only a couple of years ago, giving high-fives to Joel Klein, this isn't really great news.

I wonder if they have parties like this in Trenton?

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