Mike’s Funny Math

The Politicker heard some complaints from Bloomberg supporters about an item yesterday repeating Freddy’s contention that crime is up on Staten Island.

The complaint was that Freddy was using numbers going back only to 2003; Mike should be judged by his record since 2001.

Two points: First, those same numbers show murder and rape up, if not as sharply, since 2001.

And second, Mike is at least as liable as Freddy to play fast and loose with statistics, though his better-funded campaign does it more smoothly.

The Sun not long ago outlined one of the most striking (no link available): A mailing claiming “Mayor Bloomberg created 62,000 new jobs” in fact “refers to the period from July 2003 to May 2005.” There’s a case to be made for starting the count then, but you can’t have it both ways.

And the ads released immediately after the first round of good test scores this year failed to note a point that calls the results into serious question: parochial and charter schools, which obviously don’t follow the uniform curriculum, saw gains on the same tests, suggesting that the test, not the students, had changed. (The Department of Education’s test expert, Lori Mei, notably failed to deal with this issue during a City Council Education Committee hearing, which you can read here.)

All in all, it’s an element of Mike’s campaign that may deserve even more scrutiny than his unfortunate choice of photographs.

Mike’s Funny Math