Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Department Of Education Claims The Regents Is 33% Of A Student's Classroom Grade - Really???

The principal of Lafayette high school has reduced student Earth Science classroom grades 10 to 15 points if they failed the Earth Science Regents. While I question the principal's wisdom in changing student grades without teacher discussion and input, I'm more concerned with DOE's response to the event. According to DOE, the policy is that the Regents should be 33% of the classroom grade. I have been teaching a decade and have never heard of this. In fact the Regents was not part of the classroom grade at all!

Granted if a student tanked on the Regents (less than 50%), our policy was to reverse any passing grade to a failure since the student did not possess an adequate knowledge of the subject.
Further, some students who passed the Regents had their failing grade reversed if they were close to passing. However, I have never read or was verbally informed that the DOE had a policy that the Regents is 33% of the classroom grade! In fact, final grades must be bubbled in days before the Regents is given and maybe more than a week before the Regents is marked! Just imagine the chaos if teachers were required to incorporate the Regents scores into the classroom grade.

Lets take an example of how DOE's policy works. First, you give student X a classroom grade of 75%. A week later after you finished marking the Regents, Student X received a 52%. How do you deterimine the final grade? Easy if you are a math and science teacher.

Final Grade = 75(.67) + 52(.33) = 67%

Student X passed but now do this for 125 students at the end of the Regents week and then have to bubble in the grades. Rush, rush, rush, mistakes are very likely and the stress on the classroom teachers trying to complete the paperwork for the year is greatly increased.

Finally, all teachers should know that a principal can change a grade but they first must consult with the teachers and must justify, in writing to the teacher, why the grade was changed. A principal cannot just change a grade because they want to.


jonathan said...

I'd love to see that one in writing. Are you sure it exists?


Chaz said...


No. In fact, I bet it doesn't exist. However, it didn't stop a DOE nitwit from stating its a DOE's policy.

jonathan said...

Ask them to give you the memo they wrote (they didn't) or provide you with the correct bylaw or Chancellors Reg (which they won't do, especially if they made it up).

Ridiculous policies often evaporated before ever being reduced to writing.

Pissedoffteacher said...

The Math A is a ridiculous regents that many students pass without even taking the entire course. It makes no sense of base a grade on this exam!

no_slappz said...


I saw that you and jd2718 commented on the Edwize piece about entrance to Stuyvesant and the other top schools.

A few points.

1) No one mentioned Hunter. My niece, who will start at Stuy next week, didn't make the Hunter cut. Neither did her older sister. That school maintains the most rarified atmosphere of all city schools.

2) If test-prep programs and review courses were extended to all students in public school, and this was done with the intention of increasing black and hispanic enrollment at Stuy, etc, it would have the opposite impact.

The marginal white and asian kids would also see an increase in their scores and the likely outcome is an even greater percentage of white and asian kids attending the top schools.

no_slappz said...


One other point about race and entrance to the city's elite schools needs attention.

Of the students attending Stuy and the other top schools who are identified as blacks and hispanic, what percentage are bi-racial?

This issue is now playing out in Brooklyn politics where four candidates are competing to run for the office of Congrssman in the 11th Congressional district.

As you may know, this seat was held by Shirley Chisolm. She was followed by Major Owens who is retiring.

Four candidates are running in the Democratic primary. One is white -- David Yassky -- two others are black, and one -- Chris Owens, is bi-racial.

Al Sharpton and others have urged voters to elect a black candidate, claiming the 11th Congressional district is a black district in need of a black representative.

What race is Owens? Black or white? Things get trickier. Owens' mother is white and Jewish.

Sharpton is working overtime to drive Joe Leiberman, who is Jewish, from office in Connecticut. Several years ago Al instigated about 8 murders in Harlem when he urged supporters to drive Freddy of Freddy's Fashion Mart out of Harlem. Freddy is a Jewish shop owner.

In other words, Sharpton has a well known animus toward Jews. But he's pushing for a black victory in the pending primary. What does this mean for Owens? Which half of Owens will his constituents support?

Moreover, Yvette Clarke, one of the black contenders for this Congressional seat, is apparently not bright enough to know she never graduated from college. Her falsification of her credentials has gone on for 20 years.

Recently the truth came out, probably with the assistance of one of the other candidates. Hopefully, she's now out of the running. But...

The other black candidate, Carl Owens, has image problems due to his long association with recently convicted Clarence Norman, one of Brooklyn's better known corrupt politicians.

That's a lengthy way or pointing out that race politics and race-based school admissions are touchy issues.

no_slappz said...


Perhaps you noticed that Glenn Ford died a couple of days ago, the Glenn Ford of "Blackboard Jungle".

I happened to see the movie recently. It strikes me as a timeless piece of work by Hollywood.

Evan Connell got it right when he wrote the book. I don't think the discussions in the teachers' lounge have changed since it was published -- lousy pay, disaffected students, insensitive and accusing administrations, the standards. Neither have the students.

The fact that so little has changed in so many decades should be a reminder that little change is likely to occur soon.