Test scores mean virtually nothing.  They've been over used and the results have over time, been interpreted far too provincially by both Arlene and now by Mr. Giordano to distract attention from the far more pressing and intractable $1B budgetary shortfall.  A generation ago, a time when the city schools were arguably thought by many to have actually worked, test scores were only, at best, peripheral in the national consciousness.  When I was in high school two-thirds of my life ago, nearly ALL of us were proficient in reading, math and yet so much more.  To be sure, we didn't get to be so perfectly.  The mistakes we made in frequency and magnitude even back then far, far exceeded the usual allowance.  But we paid for them on the spot instead of deflecting responsibility as many parents and principals do today.  So even in four years, everyone in my high school class grew in moral and intellectual stature.  Our teachers asked everything of us and though not many of us I suspect knew it at the time, it’s what we demanded ourselves.  Moral as well as academic development then were the primacies of our presence as students and were the business of teachers.  They stressed the universalities of preparation, proper attire and attitude.  Through all of these, we began to see the good in ourselves and in others.

Sadly, they no longer seem to be important.  Now, thirty five years later, the simplest things like rising test scores are thought to be miracles.  The S.R.C. through its unbridled and myopic support of Dr. Ackerman’s “school reform” agenda and its accoutrements of fiscal imprudence have ran public education off the tracks and well-nigh ruined it.  Her policies missed the point.  Her intransigence and recalcitrance to treat people fairly missed the form.

History explains how the propagation of charter schools and the promotion of test scores as the sole means of measuring student success will not avail.  Only a re-evangelization of the fundamentals may do so.  Dr. Hite must be made to grasp this universality and be grasped by it.  As ever, I confess myself disappointed.