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Studies in Shilling

The New York Post is treating us to a series of “case studies” of schools whose students are scoring at high levels on the state ELA and math assessments. Yesterday featured IS 364 in Brooklyn, which the article proclaimed had eliminated the achievement gap. Today includes IS 187 in Brooklyn. “More than 900 students … aced this year’s math tests—one of the few middle schools citywide to achieve the feat,” the article marvels.

Kudos to the kids and the schools, but readers would be better-served if the Post acknowledged that both schools have highly-selective gifted-and-talented programs. IS 187 admits students on the basis of their 4th-grade ELA, 5th-grade math, and OLSAT scores. IS 364 has a Spring Creek Scholars gifted-and-talented program that requires a score of 680 on the state ELA exam and 675 on the state math exam, along with other academic and non-academic criteria. There are, though, quite a few students at IS 364 who are not in the Spring Creek Scholars program, including a nontrivial number of special education students.

Remember when Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas, said of George Herbert Walker Bush, “he was born on third base and thought he hit a triple”? Due to their selective admissions, IS 187 and, to a lesser extent, IS 364 were born on third base. The New York Post thinks they hit a triple.

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