Truth to Power

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Statement by Comptroller Liu on behalf of our youngest learners, and those who teach them.

Yesterday, August 7, 2013, City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s defense of the City’s poor results on state “Common Core” tests:

“Despite all the spin, these results show that the Mayor’s focus on high-stakes testing and data-driven management of the schools has failed. For years, Mayor Bloomberg trumpeted the supposed miracle of his management, as the City’s test scores ostensibly rose. Now, as our kids can’t meet a tougher state standard, we’re supposed to continue believing the miracle happened? You can’t have it both ways. As a public school parent, I am appalled that the Mayor would try to protect his legacy by pulling the wool over the eyes of parents. After all this P.R., it turns out that he’s the ‘A-Rod’ of public education.

“The simple fact of the matter is that the City’s focus on high-stakes testing is wrong, and its strategy of ‘teaching to the test’ has come at the expense of real learning. While the new state tests may be harder, what we see here is Bloomberg doubling down on a bad policy. Tests should be used to assess what students know and guide educators in curriculum development, that is, to help kids learn. They should not be used for punishing teachers, closing schools, determining merit pay, or helping adults win elections.”