The nincompoops at the DOE has done it again. In their ever consuming effort to make sure teachers are incapable to grade their own school's students, they have hurt the very students that they claim to protect. English Language Learners and Special Education students have been unfairly been put at a disadvantage when it came to the January Regents test. Schools that have a substantial number of the two groups, including some of the best large comprehensive schools in the City had a double digit reduction in passing rates since last year. While those idiots at the DOE may claim that the poor showing reflects what happens when teachers objectively review the essays. However, in reality the facts are very different.
First, the schools with large populations of English Language Learners (ELL) and Special Education Students had their English Regents sent to a different school where many of the teachers were English teachers with no experience in grading English Language Learners or Special Education Students/ Therefore, these teachers graded the paper as if the student was an English speaking student with no IEP. A very unfair approach and detrimental to the academic achievement to these two groups. I'm sure the DOE will claim that schools with a majority of one of these groups like Newcomers High School were graded by teachers with experience with English Language Learners. However, many of the large comprehensive schools do not have majorities in ELL or Special Education students and were graded by English teachers with no or little experience with both groups this put these students at a competitive disadvantage.
Second, The very fact that the student name and school was included on the paper could lead to biased grading, either from a cultural perspective or just jealously between a good school academically and a grader from a school that does not have a good reputation academically. If you don't believe that this does not happen then I have a Bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. It only takes one biased grader to affect a student's final score and make an otherwise passing grade to a failing grade. If the DOE was competent, they would have eliminated the name and school from the grader's view and simply provide the OSIS #. Instead the DOE poor judgement put many deserving students in jeopardy to graduate and go to college.
Finally, since the Bloomberg small schools have relatively few ELL and Special Education students since these schools claim they lack the resources of the large comprehensive high schools to service these groups, the small schools are less affected by the DOE decision to have other teachers grade their students. By contrast, the large comprehensive high schools are penalized and the more ELL and Special Education students, the greater the penalty to the school.
Now with common core being integrated into the curriculum, I can only see more poor results for ELL's and Special Education teachers. Just imagine, who will want to teach either group if 25% of the teacher evaluation system is based upon a test that is biased against both cohorts. It is just another example of the DOE's disrespecting teachers and putting the most vulnerable of children last.
Rich Gibson on Ken Burns' Vietnam
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