Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why The High School Letter Grades Given By The DOE Are Just Garbage

I read with amusement the high school letter grades given to the NYC high schools and realized how these letter grades are simply a sham.  How can high schools that have single digit "college and career readiness rates" receive an "A" grade?  I can't imagine that schools could get a high grade with so few of their graduates prepared for college and high skilled jobs?  Furthermore, I question the methodology used to give the schools a grade and how it is weighted,  The DOE methodology uses some very nebulous metrics such as Student progress (55 points), Student performance (20 points), and School environment (15 points) with the final 10 points coming from the "College and career readiness scores".  In addition, the DOE artificially can raise the school's overall grade by giving the school credit for reducing the student achievement gap .for high-need students (16 points).  How the DOE came up with these metrics is beyond my understanding after reading the Educator Guide describing them.  Worse, I see no way for the DOE to ensure the data has not been massaged by the school, in other words an unscrupulous Principal could "game the system" to ensure his or her school received credit that on closer examination was undeserved.  For example giving massive "credit recovery credits" to raise graduation rates, or granting credits for service to improve student progress, and pressuring teachers, students, and parents to affect the School environment scores. Moreover, the mere fact the the school knows when the evaluators are coming makes it a farce. Is it any wonder that these schools with less than 5% college readiness rates were graded "A"?  A list of these low preforming high schools who received an "A" grade are listed below.

School for Excellence (Bronx)
Unity Center for Urban Technologies (Manhattan)
El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice (Brooklyn)
Pan-American International High School (Bronx)
Frances Perkins Academy (Brooklyn)
The Facing History School (Manhattan)

More incredibility is that the high school in Brooklyn, FDNY School For Fire and Life Safety,had not one graduate who was college ready but still earned a "B" grade.  Just unbelievable.

I can only use the old saying "garbage in, garbage out" when it come to the DOE grading system for the NYC high schools.



Anonymous said...

A 5% college readiness school receives an "A".
Jis Gosh Darn Confusin'

Teachmy class MrMayor said...

Chaz, the game is, as you know, rigged. I could sit there and take all of the stats released by the DOE and compare side by side the school I work in and others that are not "in the DOE crosshairs" you would never be able to tell which one is which. It has never been about anything but politics.

burntoutteacher said...

Interesting that you should mention FDNY HS. I taught there and we asked OSI to come in and investigate the unusually high graduation rates as well as other very very serious administrative illegalities. Although they did investigate, nothing seems to have come of it. Incompetent and corrupt principal forced the several of us behind the whistle-blowing into early retirements, 3020 hearings, ATR status.