The new City Journal is out. Heather MacDonald worries that the high Hispanic illegitimacy rate is creating a new underclass, while Nicole Gelinas says the Queens Library is a government-funded social uplift program that works, providing books, quiet study space and English and citizenship classes for immigrants.
Sol Stern writes on the very slow growth of New York City’s reading scores.
The scorecard on fourth-grade reading: for the four years prior to the Bloomberg reforms, under chancellors Rudy Crew and Harold Levy, the average annual gain was five percentage points. The Bloomberg administration can claim an annual gain of just two percentage points since its reforms kicked in with the 2003–04 school year.
The eighth-grade reading results are dismal. Since 1999, the percentage of the city’s eighth-graders achieving proficiency has risen just 1.3 points, leaving nearly two-thirds of students unprepared for the ninth grade in 2006.
Stern follows up on an all-minority school that boasted a huge gain in reading scores — for one year. The mayor visited to congratulate the children. The following year, scores plummeted. Nobody noticed.