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David C Bloomfield

David C Bloomfield

For over 30 years, as an educator and attorney, David Bloomfield has delivered reliable, unique expertise to organizational clients and the education media on a broad array of complex education issues. The author of the widely read text, American Public Education Law, he has also published on curriculum, instructional technology, church/state, special education, student discipline, urban school governance, finance, No Child Left Behind, school improvement strategies, and other topics.


A graduate of Columbia University School of Law and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, David C. Bloomfield is Professor of Educational Leadership, Law, and Policy at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York and Chair, Department of Education, College of Staten Island, CUNY. A parent leader and former elementary and secondary school teacher, Bloomfield previously served as General Counsel to the New York City Board of Education and Senior Education Adviser to the elected Manhattan Borough President.

Posted by on in Education Policy

By refusing the church’s latest appeal in Bronx Household of Faith v. New York City Board of Education, 11-386, the United States Supreme Court today gave a final judicial green light to the Department of Education’s controversial ban on renting schools for religious services.

 

While only persuasive nationally, the now-final Second Circuit ruling settles matters for multiple states within this judicial circuit (New York, Vermont, and Connecticut) but only affects those districts that want to start prohibiting services (probably few, but includes New York City).

 

Haven’t we been here before? In 1998, the high court declined review of a similar Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. And, despite these decisions and others along the way, since 2002 Bronx Household of Faith has been holding services in P.S. 15 in the Bronx. The DOE estimates that dozens of churches now rent space for Sunday services, despite courts approving Chancellor’s Regulation D-180, Section 1(Q), prohibiting the practice. Can this really be the end?

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Posted by on in Assessment

Release of New York City “Progress Reports” and a plethora of other news from around the country reveal the tough truth that high-stakes accountability fails to raise academic achievement.  Indeed, it leads to watering down the very standards its advocates espouse, merely producing talking points that politicians and administrators use to claim success in reaching empty benchmarks.

 

New York’s admission that 75% of high school grads can’t do C-level work at City University campuses appears to be the cost of raising graduation rates to approximately 60%, up 10% in a decade.  Cheating scandals in other cities demonstrate a different aspect of high-stakes accountability: the data can’t be trusted.  In Los Angeles, a settlement has just been reached requiring federal oversight in the instruction of Black and Latino students whose performance lags despite years of high-stakes testing and sticks based on disaggregating data under No Child Left Behind.

 

If the cost of this was just hot air, we could simply hope that it doesn’t appreciably increase global warming.   But high-stakes accountability has hurt education!  Curricula have been narrowed, students have passed courses without subject mastery, recreation has suffered, and innumerable educators have left the profession rather than succumb to the dumbed-down monotony of test prep and public shaming.  When the only way to “achieve” is to pass students in courses and widely-criticized standardized tests, the bar has not only been lowered, it’s been removed.

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