The New York Post published an article that stated that 150 schools who had their Regents graded outside their schools showed a significant decline in passing rates ranging from 6.7% in Living Environment to 3.9% for U.S. History. Smaller drops were reported for English 2.1% and Math 1.7%. More disturbingly were the large drops in the following schools:
- Choir Academy of Harlem -34%
- Brooklyn Theatre Arts HS -24%
- Victory Collegiate HS -23%
- School For Social Change -20%
- Science Skills HS -19%
These incredible drops were found after New York City, under pressure from the State about shady scoring practices, selected the 150 schools to be scored centrally rather than have the scoring done in the school. While the average reduction in passing rates of the 150 schools were not terrible, with the exceptions listed above, the reductions were significant. While some of the drops can be attributed to teachers sympathetic to their school's students and are able to understand the student's intent in writing the essays and the use of English teachers grading ESL students, the incredably large drops in some schools can only mean one thing. Yes, these schools had some very questionable scoring methods to boost the student passing rates on the Regents. In other words, the school cheated!
Interestingly, TWEED who blame teachers and not poverty or their asinine policies on poor student academic achievement blamed the astoundingly large drop in Regents passing scores in these high schools on their high poverty student population. In other words they admit that poverty affects student academic achievement despite their rhetoric I guess student poverty only counts when it brings into question the DOE's letter grades and learning environment surveys.
The bottom line is now that all high schools will have their Regents graded independently, outside the school, how much will the Regents grade drop Citywide? I predict it will be significant and the largest drops will occur in high poverty schools as poverty does matter in a student's academic achievement.