Observer Editorial Board
“You could hear the sound of backs being slapped from the Tweed Courthouse—where the NYC Department of Education is housed—to the state capitol. The results from the statewide student proficiency exams in English and math just came in. And it appears, at first glance, that there were improvements in student performance across the state, especially among city children.
But appearances can be misleading. There were asterisks next to the 2016 results warning that the current proficiency numbers could not be compared to previous years’ results. That’s because the current tests were shortened, time limits were eliminated and more than 20 percent of kids opted out—they chose not to take the tests. So, to compare this year’s results with last year’s would have been akin to assessing a child’s ability to ride a bike—with and without training wheels.”