Making the Grade

– In New York, a school that’s failing the federal No Child Left Behind law might be considered passing under new guidelines put forward by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. This new system doesn’t consider reputation; so don’t expect that the last three digits of your zip code warrant a free pass.

– Speaking of NCLB, it’s been effectively stalled in Congress, and there’s no assurance a newer version will pass next year, although the current one remains in effect. It might be time for W. to put down his veto pen and make peace with the Dems. Despite the president’s urging, the controversial law, which holds public schools accountable for raising test scores, must weather partisan bickering and an upcoming presidential election.

– Boston Public Schools, looking to stem an abysmally low graduation rate, is eyeing progress in New York, where more than two-dozen experimental schools are using methods like calling students’ cell phones when they miss class or making home visits to encourage students to attend school regularly – and eventually graduate. Maybe graduation rates in the city will begin to match those of its affluent suburban neighbors (for starters, see Newton, Brookline, Wellesley, and Weston).

– In other news, Richard D. Parsons (finally) stepped down as CEO of Time Warner and will be succeeded by Jeffrey L. Bewkes. Parsons was one of a handful of black CEO’s at top corporations, prompting the Times to ask last week whether there’s “room at the top for Black executives?” Bewkes has his work cut out for him to turn around low-performing stock prices.

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