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Democratic Focus May Shift with Test Score Gains

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Professor Henig said Mayor Bloomberg would have suffered Democratic backlash if City students had scored poorly on the fourth grade reading exam.

Democratic opponents of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg must now contend with what seems to be his success as an education mayor.  This year's 10 percentage point gain on the fourth grade reading exam may not be strategically advantageous for that party, but Professor Jeffrey Henig is certain Bloomberg would have faced an uphill battle if kids had scored poorly.

"You can bet that the Democrats would have beaten him up all over the place if the fourth grade numbers were down," said the professor of politics and education.  "I wouldn't be surprised if we hear the Democrats talking a lot more about the West Side stadium for the Jets in the next few weeks," he added, "because education won't be as ripe an issue with these scores."  Henig is also an editor of the 2004 "Mayors in the Middle: Politics, Race and Mayoral Control of Urban Schools."

The article, entitled "Good Scores Present Problems for a Challenger of an Education Mayor," appeared in the May 19 edition of the New York Times.

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