Perhaps the key to the June 18 news story “More graduating” is the subhead “Gap remains between richer and poorer districts.”

This is a key piece of information that seems to get tossed aside in talks about so-called education reform, as teachers get a bad rap for not being able to solve the nation’s poverty problems.

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The Board of Regents chancellor attributed the minuscule 0.2 percent increase in the state’s graduation rate to increased rigor. Does that even make sense? How was that increased rigor measured? Kids who couldn’t jump the bar were able to jump a higher bar? Sounds like some doublespeak that goes hand in hand with teacher hiring freezes as publishing companies get fat off new tests, new texts, scanning essays for grading, new rubrics, and a whole slew of other get-rich-quick ideas that probably won’t change the lives of students. 

Lori Mayo, Merrick

Editor’s note: The writer is a New York City public schoolteacher.