Wednesday, August 1, 2007
NYC Grad Rates Rising?
Samuel Freedman's column in today's NY Times (posted here) finally touches on the source of DOE claims for rising grad rates. Of course the DOE attacked the teacher (unfortunately there were a few negatives). I raised these issues in my 2 minute presentation at the July PEP meeting. Teachers have been reporting grade inflation, being told to mark the exams of their own students (with a wink), enormous pressures to pass kids who are failing, etc.
The state ed department has a hand in all this to make sure everyone all around looks good - easier exams, shady rubrics (if the kid fogs a mirror, PASS.)
A column I wrote in The Wave and on this blog called "Indecent Exposure" back in December touched on these issues:
Inflated test scores and cover-ups of massive cheating scandals in addition to scores being pumped up by constant test prep. “Test-mania fuels cheating at many schools, teachers say,” said just one headline that is just the tip of the iceberg. The overwhelming majority of school personnel will remain silent due to fear. (Maria Colon, the union rep at JFK HS in the Bronx, was persecuted because she exposed her administration, which has gotten off Scot-free.)
Teachers toe the line, especially newer, inexperienced teachers. The attack on senior teachers (anyone with about 7 years in today's world) is not just about money, but compliance in solidifying the sham BloomKlein are pulling.
At the end of my presentation at the PEP I pointed out that we can see even higher grad rates once the principals get their hands on the bonus money.
Going up, anyone?