Prisco: Extending mayoral control is a recipe for failure

    by Loretta Prisco

    Proponents of Mayoral Control state “improvements” in scores as justification. Scores have jumped in cities without mayoral control proving this a fallacy. Teachers know the secret recipes.

    The Not-So-Secret Recipe for Increased Scores:
    1. Negotiate a $118 million testing company contract that dumbs down the tests.
    2. Eliminate social studies and science, throw out the arts and turn schools into test prep factories.

    The Mayor’s Sure-Fire Recipe for Increasing Graduation Rates:
    1. Transfer failing students to special programs (Goodwill, drug programs) that are not required to report dropouts.
    2. Offer failing/ truant students the opportunity to do a simple project for credit in lieu of attending/ passing classes all term. (Credit Recovery).

    The Miraculous Recipe to Close the Achievement Gap between Students of Color and White Students:
    In scaling scores, make it easier for students to move from a Level 1 to Level 2 and from 2 to 3 (requiring fewer correct answers for Level 2). Voila –– the gap is closed.

    The Mayor’s Secret Recipe for Improving Scores of English Language Learners (ELL):
    Give extra test time to these students even though have mastered English and passed the NYSSLAT test that moved them out of ELL programs.

    Bake and watch the cake rise.

    Loretta Prisco
    Staten Island, New York

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