"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Which of Bloomberg's Child Abusers Will Be Left Behind?

The NY Times reports that 339 5th graders were held back in fifth grade due to the stupidity of Bloomberg's crack testing crew. The City blames the State--the State blames the City. One can only hope for class action suit by parents. And by the way, where is outrage among those who were so upset about Buffy and Biff's SAT screw-ups? I almost forgot--these poor kids don't matter, anyway.
Published: September 23, 2006

A day after New York State released results of the 2005-6 reading and writing exam, city officials said the scores showed that they had required 339 students to repeat fifth grade even though, it turned out, they had scored high enough on the English test to be promoted.

That was a turnaround from Thursday, when the city said the scores showed that they had mistakenly promoted children in the spring who failed to meet Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s criteria. The officials said the state released annual scores later than usual.

The city’s reversal came after state officials reacted furiously to being blamed, saying the state had bent over backward to provide the city with preliminary data.

“The facts show this is completely wrong in every respect,” said Alan Ray, a spokesman for the State Education Department.

The chancellor’s office said that parents of the children wrongfully held back would now be given the choice of leaving them where they are or pushing them up to sixth grade.

The backdrop for the confusion was a new set of tests used this year.

The state English scores are normally unveiled before the school year ends. But because the exams were new, extra time was needed to figure out how to score them.

Knowing the results would be delayed, New York City had initially planned to administer two sets of exams: the state tests and a city test to enforce the mayor’s promotion rules in grades 3, 5 and 7.

After an outcry from parents about double testing, state and city officials reached a deal — the state would give the city a preliminary analysis of scores in time for the city to make promotion decisions in June.

City officials said that their initial conclusion on Thursday that they had wrongly promoted students stemmed from a quick and faulty analysis of the test results.

1 comment:

  1. How about this one. Because of a shortfall in state funding, our school had to cut 20% of staff this year, reconfiguring a bunch of classrooms from two per grade down to one.

    We got our AYP results three weeks after school started. Didn't improve on "very high" in English Language arts in the fourth grade.

    The school had already chosen to consolidate the 4th grade classroom for next year, and they've got a group with 17 boys, 7 girls.

    So, here they've got 4th grade ELA as the category that needs improvement, and the school decided they had to cut corners in this group. And by gosh, what are the odds of having 17 boys and 7 girls together in one classroom? And we got the frigging AYP notice three week after the new school year started.

    All the choice parents are panicing; the school was a prime choice destination, but the state has turned that around, quickly. We're thinking of gathering a group of five or so choice kids and forming a home-school network for the year. Just what the school would need - the active parents pulling out of the school and not getting MCAS scores recorded before they leave.