This is Why Bloomberg Wants to Destroy John Liu

It's either this guy or the lady responsible for more Bloomberg.

It’s because John Liu does studies like this:

More than 40% of public school educators are not using a key tech tool designed to boost lagging test scores, city Controller John Liu charged Monday, in labeling the $83 million program a waste of money.

But the city Education Department shot back that the use of the program, called ARIS, continues to expand and that Liu’s own audit found most teachers and principals say it is helping.

I have some experience with ARIS, as I think do most teachers in New York City. It is the computer program that teachers here can use in order to look up past grades and attendance of their students. $83 million dollars on a program that almost half of all teachers have never used seems like an awful waste.

The DOE seems to take a perplexing stand: that more than half of school staff say that ARIS “helps”. First, is this 50% of total school staff, or 50% of the people who have actually used it? If it is the latter, then the overall percentage would be at around 25%. Second, what does it mean that ARIS is “helping”? Is it helping to provide a quality education to our children, or is it helping in aggregating and disaggregating data? If the latter, then is a program like this worth $83 million? Maybe someone with the pecuniary acumen that I so sorely lack can do a cost-benefit analysis.

Oh wait, that is pretty much what John Liu did. He calls it a huge waste. The DOE’s irrefutable rebuttal is that ARIS is helping students “improve”.

I wonder if there were any better ways of spending that money. Perhaps we could have spent that money on retaining teachers, so Bloomberg would not have to cry poverty in order to have an excuse to fire half of all teachers and double class sizes. Maybe we could have invested some of that money in the litany of schools Bloomberg, in his infinite wisdom, has closed down. In terms of cost-benefit, you do not have to be a financial whiz like John Liu to understand that those $83 million could have went to a million other things that would have been of more benefit to children than a giant data mining system. Especially considering that the data being mined on ARIS is readily accesible as it is: it’s called a transcript.

In reality, those of who work in the DOE know what John Liu is getting at. He is calling attention to the massive waste at Tweed brought about by no-bid contracts to Bloomberg’s cronies in the private sector.

You think the current witch hunt against John Liu has something to do with this annoying tendency he has of criticizing Bloomberg? Bloomberg certainly does not want John Liu to become mayor, preferring instead to have his clones follow him into office in order to solidify his odious legacy.

I certainly see the John Liu investigation for what it is. Too bad so many New Yorkers still are blind to what is really happening. I guess you cannot criticize the Mayor or be too friendly with those evil unions in NYC if you want to have a legitimate shot at power.

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4 responses to “This is Why Bloomberg Wants to Destroy John Liu

  1. I’ve used ARIS sparingly in my career. I’d say that a good 40 percent of the time the contact numbers I received from the system were either incorrect or just not updated yet. I usually get more updated ones via the Deans office, the guidance counselor or attendance office. The information on previous state scores, to me, are not that important. I can tell within one week of working with the student and assessing him or her how she or he functioned in previous years. 83 million dollars? To me and many others in my school – what a waste!

    • Yeah, ARIS reeks of inefficiency. I have logged into ARIS twice in my career and came away dumber about my students than before. As you say, teachers can tell the good test-takers and motivated students after a week of school. $83 million spent on ARIS while art, music, gym and after school programs get the axe. “Children first, always?” I don’t think so.

  2. Pingback: The Myth of Budget Cuts in American Education | assailedteacher

  3. Pingback: Follow the Silver Lining…. and the Money | assailedteacher

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