Friday, January 12, 2018

When Statistics Lie.

Mark Twain once said "there are lies, dammed lies, and statistics".  The DOE, principals, and teachers have taken that saying to heart to falsely show student academic progress.  Let's look at how each group uses statistics to show student academic achievement when the truth is otherwise.

Department Of Education::
The DOE is the biggest abuser of false statistics.  For example, the DOE budget increases every year but more and more of the money goes to the Central Bureaucracy and not to the students.  The schools still suffer from the recession era budgets and are underfunded by between 10%to 13% of their fair funding, while the DOE's budget increase every year.  Until recently, they had a motto called "children first...Always" when the truth is the schools are starved for resources and many schools are overcrowded with the largest class sizes in the State.  Moreover, the DOE will falsely claim that all their teachers are certified but far too many are teaching subjects they are not certified to teach.  Finally, they will loudly program they have the highest graduation rate ever but they ignore the fact that only one in five ever complete an associates degree in college and even less for a four year bachelor's degree.

Probably the biggest abuser of fake statistics.  They are the reason so many students graduate unprepared for higher education or the adult world.  They run "diploma mills" where many students are pushed out by massive doses of credit recovery courses, pressuring teachers to pass failing students with a 65%, or change grades, despite objections from the teachers. Academic fraud by these principals are ignored by the DOE and most principals realize their are no consequences for their actions.

Teachers in many of these diploma mill schools must meet scholarship goals, passing 80% of their roster and must show that they kept a running log to demonstrate how hey contacted the parent and other steps taken to get the student to pass the class.  This administrative pressure forces the teacher to take the easiest road possible to achieve an effective rating, that is to pass as many st6udents as possible to meet the school's administrative goals.  Furthermore, in many Living Environment classes, teachers can artificially raise their Regents passing rate by barring struggling students from taking the Regents.  The result is that many of the students pass the class but gets no Regents credit.  Finally, in some schools teachers will pass the student if they just show up to class since the teacher must meet the above mentioned scholarship goal.

Can statistics lie?  you better believe they can.


Anonymous said...

I believe that I was denied tenure and subsequently discontinued from my probationary period at Richmond Hill high school largely in part because in the four years that i worked there, I was always honest and ethical in the way that I graded my students. I have since learned that this is a fatal mistake if you're concerned about your job security. The principal Neil Ganesh sat me down at the end of my third year and discussed his concern about the percentage of my students that were passing. What he failed to take into account was the the school's very poor graduation rate and attendance rate overall. Also and most importantly, many of my students in the self contained classes were failing not just my classes, but practically all of their classes and state exams. I was assigned to teach these same students either in the very beginning of the day or at the very end of the day where it was almost a certainty that many would simply not show up, so I felt that I had no choice but to fail them. At the end of the day, Ganesh was a nothing a business man and treated the school as nothing more than a business. Ganesh has committed all sorts of fraud to retain his position there.

Anonymous said...

If Trump wants to see what real shitholes look like he should visit a typical Bronx middle or high school. Statistics can say whatever the presenter want them to - they said Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide. DeBlasio said too many Black and Hispanic students were being suspended. My school is all Black and Hispanic. DeBlasio should have not received mayoral control - he has totally alienated himself from the schools and uses statistical data to prove the schools are outstanding in every way including safety. Chaz you forgot to mention the UFT uses DeBlasios same numbers to prove the same points to the rank and file.

Anonymous said...

To 10:49. You learned the hard way. I learned by observation of who got targets on their backs, who was getting 10-20 observations in a year and I listened to the old-timers who said the only way to survive the abusive principals was to never fail more than 20% of your class regardless of merit or not.

I have since learned, while working under some very abusive and nasty principals that you cannot fail ANYONE except if they never showed. This is not a joke in my school, and as a staff most of us know it. Every year the admins fire an untenured teacher or two (who are the 'honest graders') just to prove a point.

We got the message at my school, and our data looks downright awesome even though our average graduate has less than 5th grade skill levels. That's not our fault though, because they come to us with 1-2 grade skills - no joke. We bring them up 3-5 grade levels in just 4 years, but we all know it is not college or career ready, but what are we - miracle workers?

The fictions we all have to live under take a toll on our spirits. The important thing is to keep your outside life vibrant. The schools are bizarre worlds without any logic.

ATRNomad said...

Yesterday the Post had a story about the percentage of students taking the SAT exam reaching record levels. Very little attention to the test results however. This is always a day I take off from school because it is always a shitshow. Some schools have no idea what to do with those students not taking the test, proctoring assignments are always screwed up, and there's alway those few kids who make well known that they don't want to take it. Love this one sentence - "The DOE said offering the SAT during a regular school day improved participation across the board but was particularly beneficial to minority students. Rather than present the critical exam as an extracurricular pursuit, the school-day SAT exam heightened inclusivity." Soft racism at its finest. The irony of course is that college preparedness is horrible at most schools, but they all have to take the SAT, wasting a valuable day of instruction.

Anonymous said...

Many Principals have been changing grades, but investigators sweep it under the table. Many articles abouts Principals committing fraud in the New York Post.

Anonymous said...

What a shame that Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia and Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa think that Mayoral control benefits the NYC schools!

Who's going to clue them in?

You up to it, Chaz?

Anonymous said...

11:46 hit the nail on the head. Every year my 100% immigrant ELL students take the PSAT and later the SAT. Every single one of them score so low as to be comical if it wasn't serious. I don't recall more than a handful of students ever getting close to the minimum scores most colleges would take.

The SAT was not set up for English Language Learners. Why do we make them take it? For most it makes them feel dumb for no reason. You try immigrating to a new country with a new language and then in a year or two taking a high level test.

Anonymous said...

Diblasio wants to divest our pension funds from fossil fuel companies' stock. That includes some of the most highest earning stocks in history like Exxon. Just as the Energy sector is in the beginning of a comeback and their stocks are rebounding nicely, our pensions will not enjoy all the financial gains.
Investment decisions for our pension should be based on maximizing returns and not based on politicians' social views.