Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New York State Wants To Drop High School Regents Exams

After 150 years the New York Education Department gave an outline of a proposal to the State Board of Regents that is entertaining the notion of dropping the high school Regents exams and replacing it with different alternatives.  The reason is that fewer and fewer New York State students are academically eligible to obtain a Regents diploma, according to Newsday.

It seems that in the major New York State cities too many students end up getting a local diploma or a certificate of completion rather than a Regents diploma which hurts their chances of getting into a 4-year college. Too many of the students cannot pass four or five Regents exams to gwt a Regents diploma.

At one time the New York State Regents was the gold standard of final exams and over the last twenty years the New York State Education Department has dumbed down the exam and added a curve to the gateway Regents of Algebra ! and Living Environment.  Now they are considering eliminate them altogether.

Soon the New York State high school diploma will end up to be a worthless piece of paper.

Friday, July 12, 2019

More Speed Cameras Rolling Out, More Money For The City

New York City will start rolling out more speed cameras and will have 720 by June of 2020.  The hours of operation will expand from 6am to 10pm weekdays.  This is an expansion from 7am to 4pm on school days.  This is part of Mayor De Blasio's vision zero policy.

Moreover,  the speed cameras can be placed in a 4 square mile parameter around a school.  This means that the City will maximize those locations where the can catch the most speeders and generate the most money.

While its true it will help school safety, the main purpose is to generate income for the City.  If it was simply a school safety issue, the City would install speed bumps around schools,

Sunday, July 07, 2019

The Carranza Hypocrites

Chancellor Richard Carranza's prime objective is to integrate schools, by any means possible.  However, the Chancellor's integration policy seems not to apply to his top level cronies.  According to columnist, Susan Edelmen, of the New York Post, two of his cronies, Deputy Chancellor, Cheryl Watson-Harris and Executive Superintendent Meisha Ross-Porter got DOE zoned waivers from their majority Black and Hispanic schools to a more Asian and White schools outside their zone.

Deputy Chancellor Cheryl Watson-Harri's younger child was zoned for PS 170 an elementary school; that largely serves immigrant children. Its 1,000-student body is 24 percent white and 58 percent Asian, with 32 percent of students learning English. In contrast, PS 185’s 650-student body is 68 percent white — the kind of school Carranza would blast as “segregated.” Only 7 percent are English language learners.

Moreover, Deputy Chancellor's  Watson-Harris' older child was given an exemption to get in the highly selective IS 187 schools which is  91% Asian and White, despite not going through an academic screening committee like everyone else

Supervising Superintendent, Meisha Ross-Porter who took in a friend's child, using her connections she, Instead of enrolling the child in her zoned Mott Hall Community School — which is 90 percent Hispanic and black and 8 percent white — Porter requested a seat at MS X101, which offers advanced classes for gifted kids. Its student body is 67 percent Hispanic and black and 15 percent white.

What a bunch of hypocrites!

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Comparing An Apple To An Orange

District 9 of the Bronx, a high poverty and minority neighborhood, saw over 50% of the students fail the Algebra I Regents.  Moreover, only 2% reached the top tier scores   By contrast  Success Academy 2 in the Bronx had a 100% pissing rate and all were in the top tier.  However, on further inspection its like comparing apples to oranges.

If you read only the New York Post you would think that the above paragraph is all there is,  Sure, District 9 has academically struggling schools but that's due to high percentages of Special Education, English Language Learners, homeless, and family dysfunction, both financially and the lack of a two parent household.  By contrast, Success Academy 2 of the Bronx have few Special Education students or English Language Learners, and homeless students.  Furthermore, the family situation is much more stable than in District 9.

A closer look at Success Academy 2 of the Bronx show what the New York Post failed to include.  the 30% of students who dropped out (pushed out?)  of the school since 6th grade when there were 72 students.  That left only 53 students to take the Algebra 1 test.  I strongly suggest that you read Gary Rubenstein's blog who did a deep study of the data and showed how poorly Success Academy students did on the Geometry and Algebra II Regents..

Monday, July 01, 2019

Schools Still Practicing Academic Fraud

I have been posting about academic fraud for years, you can read them Here.  Now the esteemed columnist, Susan Edelman of the New York Post, wrote an eye opening article about the grade inflation tha goes on in most of the New York City public schools.

As a high school teacher, I used to get many of these middle school students who could not do simple Math and had no clue what commonly used words meant.  Even worse, because these students were academically unable to do high school course work, they would act up and become discipline problems.

Of course the Department Of Education (DOE) would blame the high schools and the teaching staff for their failure to improve student academic achievement when these students do not have the academic tools to succeed in yhe first place.

Teachers have often complained that school administrators pressure teachers to pass undeserving students and the DOE supports school administrators in artificially inflate grades and passing rates. In the high schools many poorly performing schools require teachers to have a "scholarship requirement" that forces the teacher to pass up to 85% of their students.

Unfortunately,  if the teacher is not tenured, the teacher will not go against the administrator and pass the students, despite their academic failure.  Let the next teacher or school deal with the low performing student.

Despite a new Chancellor who is attempting to "clean house", the DOE mentality is to still punish schools who have low graduation rates. Therefore, principals are encouraged to pass and graduate students despite their academic shortcomings.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

New York City Cannot Retain Teachers

City Controller Scott Stringer held a press conference that criticized the Department of Education for the low teacher retention rates in the New York City schools.  According to Mr. Stringer 40% of all new teachers  leave the New York City public schools within five years.

The Bronx had the lowest teacher retention rates with 21.5%  leaving within a year in the 2017-18 school year..   he worst retention rate was District 12 in the Bronx with 26% of the teachers leaving after one year.

According to Scott Stringer, the problem is the DOE failed to provide appropriate support to new teachers.  He believes that a teacher's first year should be a residency program while having a veteran teacher mentoring the teacher before being permanently hired the next year.

While I agree with Scott Stringer, it will still  not solve the teacher retention problem and unless you improve the quality of school administrators, solve the many student discipline issues, and improve the classroom environment by respecting teachers, the retention problem will remain..

Monday, June 24, 2019

Mayor Bill De Blasio Retains Too Many Bloomberg Policies For Our Schools

When Bill de Blasio ran for Mayor he claimed he was to fully fund the public schools and reduce class sizes.  He also pledged to "clean house" of the Bloomberg ideology at the DOE and reduce the administrative bloat at Tweed.  Instead, he appointed a Tweed insider, Carmen Farina, as Chancellor and she retained 80% of the Bloomberg policymakers and failed to reduce the administrative bloat, especially lawyers..

The Mayor and Chancellor failed to fully fund the public schools, giving them only 90% of their fair funding, despite a 6 billion dollar surplus..  Further, the Mayor and Chancellor has repeatedly refuse to reduce class sizes, despite a CFE court case that allocated State money to do that.  Finally, the Chancellor continued the tricks that reduced the need for more teachers by reducing class time and limiting classes to three days for physical education, art, and music.and reduces Science from six classes to five.

The ATR pool still exists with a thousand ATRs rotating from school to school.  The discrimination against senior teachers continues, and the school based fair student funding which penalizes principals who hire veteran teachers and financially incentives principals who hire inexpensive "newbie" teachers.

Now Bill de Blasio has hired an outsider as Chancellor and while the new Chancellor is starting to clean house at the DOE .  However, the Chancellor's racial policies are very disturbing and are inappropriate.  The well respected.   Ed the Apple blog gave the Chancellor a APPR ratting of developing and to me, that's being kind.  Unfortunately,, Chancellor Carranza has not tackled the problems identified above.  Instead he is selecting people with questionable or no credentials to run the DOE, while not changing the policies that are damaging the NYC public school classroom.