Friday, November 1, 2013

Flushing HS Report#1: Teacher Questions Principal's Grading System as Violation of DOE Rules

it is the right of the principal to set the grading policy for a school. It is common practice in high schools to establish 55 as the lowest grade awarded to students.  .. Qns Dist Supt Juan Mendez
Teacher follows chain of command to Polakow-Suransky and Qns HS Dist. Supt. Juan Mendez

2nd email request: Principal James Brown's grading policy - Flushing High School to Suransky

Dear Mr. Polakow-Suransky,

This is the second request for clarification.

I am a teacher at Flushing High School and deeply concerned about Principal Dr. James Brown's proposed grading policy recently sent to the staff which will go into effect for the second marking period.

It not only mandates that the lowest grade given on the report card is a 55, but that this 55 must be calculated using the following formula (55 x 33 % = 18 points) towards the final grade. Dr. Brown offers no optional code for No shows such as 45 or NS.

This policy is not compliant with the DOE High School Academic Policy 2013 - which states that the numerical scale to be used is 1-100. By mandating that the lowest calculable numerical grade must be a 55 - without the option of putting another code or number to signify long term absences or cutting, Dr. James Brown is in fact creating his own scale of 55-100, which the DOE does not allow for.

With Dr. Brown’s policy, a student needs to only apply herself in one marking period with an 85 and completely disappear for the other two marking periods to achieve a final grade of 65 for the course. In essence 85% mastery for only one marking period equates to only 28% mastery for a full semester curriculum.

Not only does it fail to exemplify the rigor and college ready preparedness that the DOE is intending in the spirit of the common core, but it is grade inflation and possibly public fraud.

It misrepresents the performance of the students to their parents on the report card, who believe their child is just short of meeting expectations, when in fact, their progress and classwork may be far below that.

I have requested a meeting with Dr. James Brown personally which he declined. I have also requested a meeting with him and a DOE representative, which he also declined via email.

I am therefore going up the chain of command to address and clarify this issue.

Please advise on this issue or be kind enough to meet with both of us to address this matter on the validity of this proposed policy.

Find attached Principal Brown’s memo on the proposed grading policy.

Thank you in advance.

Mr. Seung-Yong Ok
Science Teacher - Flushing High School

From: Suransky Shael
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 12:54 PM
To: Ok Seung Yong (19K660)
Cc: Lack Joanna; Weiss Emily
Subject: RE: 2nd email request. Principal James Brown's grading policy - Flushing High School to Suransky

I got your first message – someone from my team will follow up



________________________________
From: Ok Seung Yong (19K660)
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 12:57 PM

To: Mendez Juan
Subject: RE: 2nd request for clarification. Dr. James brown's grading policy - Flushing High School

Dear superintendent Mendez,
This is the second request for clarification.

I am a teacher at Flushing High School and deeply concerned about Principal Dr. James Brown's proposed grading policy recently sent to the staff which will go into effect for the second marking period.

It not only mandates that the lowest grade given on the report card is a 55, but that this 55 must be calculated using the following formula (55 x 33 % = 18 points) towards the final grade. Dr. Brown offers no optional code for No shows such as 45 or NS.

This policy is not compliant with the DOE High School Academic Policy 2013 - which states that the numerical scale to be used is 1-100. By mandating that the lowest calculable numerical grade must be a 55 - without the option of putting another code or number to signify long term absences or cutting, Dr. James Brown is in fact creating his own scale of 55-100, which the DOE does not allow for.

With Dr. Brown’s policy, a student needs to only apply herself in one marking period with an 85 and completely disappear for the other two marking periods to achieve a final grade of 65 for the course. In essence 85% mastery for only one marking period equates to only 28% mastery for a full semester curriculum.

Not only does it fail to exemplify the rigor and college ready preparedness that the DOE is intending in the spirit of the common core, but it is grade inflation and possibly public fraud.

It misrepresents the performance of the students to their parents on the report card, who believe their child is just short of meeting expectations, when in fact, their progress and classwork may be far below that.

I have requested a meeting with Dr. James Brown personally which he declined. I have also requested a meeting with him and a DOE representative, which he also declined via email.

I am therefore going up the chain of command to address and clarify this issue.

Please advise on this issue or be kind enough to meet with both of us to address this matter on the validity of this proposed policy.

Find attached Principal Brown’s memo on the proposed grading policy.

Thank you in advance.
Mr. Seung-Yong Ok
Science Teacher - Flushing High School
---------

From: Mendez Juan
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 2:23 PM
To: Ok Seung Yong (19K660)
Cc: DiMaggio Nancy; Brown James (25Q460)

Subject: RE: 2nd request for clarification. Dr. James brown's grading policy - Flushing High School

Dear Ok Seung,

I have reviewed your letter of concern regarding the proposed grading policy. I have asked Network Leader Nancy Di Maggio to review the grading policy with the principal to ensure compliance with DOE policy.

Please note that it is the right of the principal to set the grading policy for a school. It is common practice in high schools to establish 55 as the lowest grade awarded to students. As your school issues grades three times per term, each marking period could generate one third of the final grade.

Your recommendation to offer optional codes for “no shows” is well taken. The principal will take your recommendation under advisement.

Regards,

Juan S. Mendez
Superintendent
Queens High Schools
(Districts 24, 25, 26, 28, and 29)
30-48 Linden Place
Room 307
Flushing, NY 11354
Tel. 718-281-7696
Fax 718-281-7519

3 comments:

  1. I commend this teacher for trying to get clarification on a ridiculous policy. However, I hope his job is not jeopardized by standing up for the truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I asked him and he said go. Seung has never been afraid to stand up - when he was at Maxwell he also took on the corrupt union structure. He was one of key early organizers in GEM.

      Delete
  2. From this fraudulent practice of 55-100 student, attitude, performance and respect for education is destroyed.
    Who could be to blame? Oh! the teachers are not teaching.
    UFT you have done some job of screwing your teachers out of their jobs.
    Stop worrying about the kids, the few with good role models will learn, the rest it doesn't matter
    Remember Karate Kid(original) Miyagi: I teach karate, your part you learn karate, I say you do. That is it!

    ReplyDelete

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