Sunday, November 10, 2013

Flushing HS Update #4

Flushing HS teacher Seung Ok's battle over DOE hypocritical grading policies appears to be bearing fruit. Seung is an old pal from the early GEM days -- one of the most energetic, principled people I've met over all my years of organizing. He was a teacher at Maxwell HS in Brooklyn when he helped form GEM in its earliest stages in 2009 while fighting off the attacks of the Unity slugs in his school led by slug of all slugs, district rep Charlie Turner. Seung spoke out passionately at the closing school hearings at Maxwell (it never did close but there was lots of excessing) and he went to many other closing school hearings around the city with other GEMers. He and Julie Cavanagh were the only teachers to sign onto the lawsuit over the rally at Bloomberg's house we held in January 2010.

Here is a great piece from the always reliable Rachel Monahan in the Daily News (when the Post approached Sueng my advice was stay away -- they are not to be trusted. I don't trust many DN reporters either but if Rachel is involved I say go for it.)



'How are you able to diagnose the kids who are barely not getting it versus really not getting it?' Flushing High School science teacher Seung Ok says of the grading policy that sets students' lowest possible scores at 55.

Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News

'How are you able to diagnose the kids who are barely not getting it versus really not getting it?' Flushing High School science teacher Seung Ok says of the grading policy that sets students' lowest possible scores at 55.


or click below the break

Previous Ed Notes reports on this story:




NYC high schoolers can’t earn ‘0' even if they skip class, miffed teachers say

Parents and teachers alike are upset with the policy. ‘Not only are they not letting teachers teach, they’re not letting teachers grade,’ one mother said. But an education department rep noted, ‘Schools do not typically use the full 0-100 scale for the reason that doing so makes it extremely unlikely that a student can recover if the semester gets off to a difficult start.’

Comments (34)
BY RACHEL MONAHAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013, 2:30 AM


Students in New York City public high schools can't score lower than a grade of 55 — no matter what they do.
Emails provided to the Daily News show that it has become “common practice” for New York City high schools to abandon the traditional 0 to 100 grading scale — for one that gives kids no lower than a 55 score, just 10 points below passing, even when they don’t show up to class.

Students can pass a class without showing up for the rest of the term — as long as they score an 85 or higher in the first of three marking periods.

A student who gets an 85 would then average 65 for the semester.

'How are you able to diagnose the kids who are barely not getting it versus really not getting it?' Flushing High School science teacher Seung Ok says of the grading policy that sets students' lowest possible scores at 55.

“The teachers have never seen this in all their years of teaching,” said Seung Ok, a science teacher at Flushing High School, where the principal sought to adopt the same policy before teachers complained.

“How are you able to diagnose the kids who are barely not getting it versus really not getting it?” he asked. “You’re not doing the kids at the bottom any favors.”

Ok emailed high-level Department of Education officials to complain, but they defended the policy as being widely accepted.

'It is common practice in high schools to establish 55 as the lowest grade awarded to students,' superintendent Juan Mendez told a teacher who complained about the practice.

“It is common practice in high schools to establish 55 as the lowest grade awarded to students,” superintendent Juan Mendez wrote in an email to a teacher complaining about the policy.

“As your school issues grades three times per term, each marking period could generate one third of the final grade.“

The principal at Flushing backed away from the proposal.

Proponents of the grading limit say that a student who aces the first of three marking periods would likely not skip the rest of the semester just because he or she would be able to squeak by and pass.

Still, education officials told The News that the practice is routine at other schools and insisted it’s highly unlikely any student who aces the first marking period would skip the rest of the semester.

“This is not an issue of grade inflation,” said schools spokeswoman Erin Hughes.

“Schools do not typically use the full 0-100 scale for the reason that doing so makes it extremely unlikely that a student can recover if the semester gets off to a difficult start.”

Hughes said there’s no advantage in the grading system for schools because they’re measured on how many students pass their classes and not on students’ grades.

Some parents said the grading policy doesn’t paint an accurate picture.

“Not only are they not letting teachers teach, they’re not letting teachers grade,” said Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union, whose daughter is a 10th-grader at LaGuardia High School. “The teacher knows best how that student is progressing academically,”

rmonahan@nydailynews.com



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/nyc-students-0-grade-deserve-article-1.1510273#ixzz2kFVHVPqa

6 comments:

  1. Why not set the minimum score at 80 thereby guaranteeing everyone a free pass?

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    Replies
    1. I liked Seung's analogy to teacher eval. Let's start at effective.

      Delete
    2. Norm:

      I disagree with your opinion of Rachel Monahan. She and Ben Chapman wrote that character assassination of me. These two slugs didn't even bother to "fact check".

      No Ms. Monahan is no better than the NY Post s far as I'm concerned.

      Delete
    3. I get your points Chaz and RBE -- I too was bothered by her co-authoring those pieces and I slammed both of them leading to a tweet from her I think pointing to her body of work which on the whole has been helpful. If there is a desire to get something into the press and someone is looking for a reporter to give the info too there are not a lot of choices -- even in the past I could do to some people at the Times -- Jenny Medina broke a story I have her for instance. Anna Phillips at Gotham was someone I felt I could work with. At times even Yoav at the Post. With Rachel you have a shot at a good story that doesn't make you look like a criminal - and i don't think she did Seung dirty and in fact her piece may have helped Seung accomplish his purpose.

      Delete
  2. Ben "Where Are The Pervert Teachers?" Chapman often shares a by-line with Monahan at the DN. I say all DN reporters are not to be trusted any more than the Post reporters - not with the neo-con owner and neo-con editorial staff in place at the paper. No matter what a reporter "reports," the editors can find a way to make that story into the hit job on teachers and schools they like to print. The only exception to this rule is Juan Gonzalez. I don't think they screw with him too much because of his stature.

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  3. Thus good flushing highschool is very bad school don't send your children because crimes that occur in th school never make it to the news.

    ReplyDelete

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