The South Bronx Definitely Needs Much Better Leadership

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Eric Stevenson

We have to learn from each other.  Right now the Eric Garner decision is not going away and there really is no resolution in sight that will make things better for everyone.  The police union has its attitude and the community has another attitude, although there are people caught in the middle in both groups.  That is understandable, but we have to make tough decisions based on the facts.  I should tell you that the Suffolk County Police Department where I live just donated $150,000 to save the football team of the Wyandanch School District.  What?  Police providing their own money to save an educational system?  There are other donors as well.  The police know (when they choose to know) the importance of education in keeping people away from prison and this is a minor effort as the problem is much greater than just Wyandanch.  But maybe the New York Police Department should be informed and learned from this news.  And there is more news for the South Bronx.

As my readers know very well, I wrote about the disparity among ethnic groups in relation to the G.E.D. test in New York (now the T.A.S.C. HSE).  And I asked that the most enlightening information should be provided about college placement tests.  And now I have something important to share with you that is in the 2019 New York State Education Department report of the recent state math test.  You will see the consistent problem that I wrote about in full honesty and concern for the South Bronx (and all other communities across our state and nation).  School is about to open in the city and there was an improvement from 2018 to 2019.  And keep in mind that in the past I have reached out to certain cities across the state including Rochester.

Measuring Student Proficiency in Grades 3-8  English Language Arts and Mathematics August 22, 2019

Check these things out and share the important news with others.

Statewide from 2018 to 2019 the students went up 0.2 points in English Language Arts

Statewide from 2018 to 2019 the students went up 2.2 points in Mathematics

That is consistent with what I tell candidates for the high school equivalency.  It is easier to prepare people for the math than for the reading subjects.  And I tell that to candidates who told me that they were never good in math.

New York City students made bigger gains on both subjects.  In English Language Arts up 0.7 points and in Mathematics up 2.9 points.

Keep in mind that it is really very hard for people already at the top to get higher marks.  It’s easier for people at the bottom to progress and bring the city and state scores up. 

So never be deceived by leaders in education and elected officials that stray from the truths that I have explained to you here.

As an example, allow me to tell you one of the first things that I learned about praise given to the G.E.D. program of the state of Delaware.  Delaware has had one of the highest passing rates in the nation on the G.E.D. test, but and allow me to write BUT this way hardly anyone took the test in the entire state.  What was Delaware doing?  It was sending only the most qualified candidates to take the test and holding back everyone else.  The truths that I reveal are universal truths that are not being spoken about and that is why we have to thank Eric Stevenson for his strong heart and mind.

Please permit me to mention Rochester here and I know it has nothing to do with the South Bronx.  Rochester has had very bad results throughout the years on state tests and graduation rates from high school.

Rochester students gained 1.8 points in English Language Arts and 2.3 points in Mathematics.  What could have happened there is that the school system was determined to get those students to read much more providing the tools that were needed to jump up in reading (keeping in mind my last comment that the scores were low and there was lots of room for improvement.  The jump in math was not as high as New York’s jump, but it was at least in a good zone of improvement.  There surely can be other factors as well that produced the improvements in Rochester.

2019 Summary Proficiency by Race and Ethnicity

Whites declined 0.6 points from 2018 to 2019 on the English Language Arts as all other groups went up.  Asian/Pacific Islanders were the best performing group by far at 67.1 percent proficiency.

Every group went up from 2018 to 2019 on the Mathematics.  Asian/Pacific Islanders were the best performing group by far with 73.4 percent proficiency.

Here is what you have to know about the other three large race and ethnic groups in 2019.

Whites              Black                     Hispanics         

English Language Arts/Mathematics

51.2/55.5            35.3/32.1            35.7/34.6

English Language Arts/Mathematics Changes from 2018 to 2019 in New York City

Whites                Blacks                Hispanics

0.1/ 3                  1/ 2.8                     0.5/2.9

The gap that I mentioned in relation to high school equivalency success in New York continued every year and has hurt in employment opportunities all those years.  I have put out the word to some organizations that things have been so bad that employers shouldn’t even require the high school equivalency from people coming out of jail or prison and for jobs where it really isn’t needed.  Give people a chance based on other aspects of the job interview.  And you would cry if you lived in Rochester to learn about the results there or in other cities in New York.  I knew the results would be bad and Rochester came in at 30 points below on each test in proficiency.  And you are going to find schools in the South Bronx that have results that compare to Rochester in the report.

Eric Stevenson is committed to the South Bronx where he is opening up an avenue for educational success that nobody has opened before.  This avenue will open things up wide so that the students stay on track and improve faster than the 2019 test results show.  The South Bronx can do it!