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Have you considered demographic shift? I think most test scores reflect how advantaged children are, not what schools are doing right or wrong. If there is a tendency for children with less well educated parents to be replaced by those from more advantaged homes, won't this look like an "improvement"? Is gentrification of certain neighborhoods translating as improved test scores?
OK, enough about the cheating schools...let's move forward here. What difference will this make with the end users of all this stuff - our children? I want to hear about that. I think it's GOOD that progress is being reinforced as opposed to celebrating mere excellence. This is a corporate model, yes, and it is bent on constant improvement but you must admit, the great schools need to be reminded that they always can do better and they can't rest on their past record. They are only as good as their weakest student.MMN
My husband is a teacher in the Bronx, and it constantly amazes me that noone is willing to touch what is probably THE largest issue with kids' progress in low-performing schools, the parents. Children cannot be forced to learn, as much as you can try to inspire them. Many of these kids are coming from families that don't value education at best, and at worst are addicts, in jail, or prostitutes who lock their children out of the apartment until 3 in the morning while they service clients. Until there is further community involvement and real afterschool programs where these kids can feel safe, no amount of testing or amazing teachers is going to solve the problem. I don't know why this is never said. My husband never gives up on any one student, but the sad truth is given the obstacles they face at home, a certain percentage of them ARE going to fail as long as they face these obstacles at home. Most testing and progress just massage the numbers and give politicians a football to kick around and contracts to pass out to the next company that says they have the workbooks to solve all our problems.
I have been having an ongoing argument with someone at Cardozo, whowonders why I think they have something to hide.
The reason a school can get a bad grade and yet have high test gradesis because teachers and proctors CHEAT!!
As a student (and and AP one at that), I witnessed blatant cheatingduring Regents tests, proctors actually nudging students, saying, "areyou sure?", teachers giving their students answers in multiple choiceAP tests by speaking the correct answer in a hyperbolic voice, etc.
That's how schools can have a bad grade while having great tests allthe rest of the year.
I went to Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, in Queens. A school myparents moved to Little Neck in order for me to attend. I pitied their naivete. I'd rather have gone to Flushing High in my old, much more diverse neighborhood.their naivete.
The sad truth (that many insiders know but are not willing to talk about it) is that what is going on in many of the NYC schools is scandalous. This new report card will just push many schools to do even more cheating with grades, attendance and state exams. You have to understand that schools are left alone to supervise all the data upon which they are judged. Now there is not even any type of supervision –school personnel are pretty much left to do and manipulate data as they can. If the public knew in depth about everything that is going on inside schools, they would be horrified. I know that most people that are on the outside would be skeptical of these accusations and many inside would not talk about them because of fear of retaliation. The only institution that currently has the power to investigate this is the NY State Ed Dept, but as someone there told me in a discussion that we had, “The NYS Dept is really only concerned about the schools outside NYC and NYC will take care of itself”.
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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