Thursday, January 07, 2016

Closing Schools Under Bloomberg and Klein Showed Lower Regents Passing Rates And More Credit Recovery. What Else Is New?

In a too little, too late report.  The City's Independent Budget Office (IBO) released a damming report on the quality of student education at six closing schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan back in the mid 2000's, during the heyday of the Bloomberg/Klein administration.  The IBO report shows that students at these six closing schools were less likely to receive a Regents diploma, took massive amount of credit recovery courses, and when tested for the Regents or the RCT received the minimum passing grades of 55% or 65% to earn credit to meet the academic standards for graduation.

We educators didn't need to IBO study to tell us the obvious.  I have been writing about the phony academic standards for almost a decade now and listed at the bottom of this article  are some of those posts. What I find most interesting is that the IBO study waited two years after Mayor Bloomberg left office to publish a study that uses data that is almost a decade old.  It appears to me the the IBO knew all along that the students of these targeted schools for closing were getting an inferior education and had the IBO dug further, they would have found that the Bloomberg administration was dumping the "high needs" and low achieving students into these schools to ensure the high schools fair and be forced to close due to poor academic statistics.

It''s no secret that the Bloomberg/Klein administration wanted to close the large comprehensive high schools and replaced by them with the Bloomberg small schools.  Just read the JD2715 blog and see the article by ex- UFT Bronx Representative, Lynn Winderbaum who wrote how the Bloomberg Administration made sure the small schools would have superior stats by exempting them from taking Special Education and English Language Learners, for the first two years and received wavers for more years thereafter to exclude "high needs" and "self-contained" students, while dumping them into the remaining large comprehensive schools to expide their eventual closure.  Most interestingly was how complicit UFT leadership was with the DOE in helping with the transition, especially Leo Casey.

While the IBO report is not a surprise, this report, hopefully is the first of many future studies showing that Michael Bloomberg and Joel Klein did not care about the students.  It was all about their ideology and that was what was most important to them.










Philip Nobile said...

Everybody knows that Bloomberg and Klein and Randi, too, encouraged Regents tampering by looking the other way when it came to "scrubbing," the so-called "dirty little secret" of the DOE.

When my allegations of Regents cheating at Cobble Hill in 2003 and 2004 were covered up by the Principal and Superintendent Farina's office, I contacted the state. NYSED determined that the lopsided scores in the 60s that I reported were three ways unlikely by chance and so ordered the DOE to conduct a legit probe.

Here's the takeaway from this cold case: NYSED and the DOE had a formula for identifying suspicious schools. At Cobble Hill the 65 bulge was 14 to 1, that is 97 kids passed between 65-69, but only 7 failed between 60-64. Consequently, all schools with at least 14-1 ratios should have been investigated. Cobble Hill was hardly alone. The dense Principal told OSI that he knew several other principals with similar lopsided results, though refused to name them.

Years later, when I checked with NYSED's assessment office, they knew of no cheating case detected by applying the 14-1 formula. The same blindness obtains today regarding the 65 bulge in course grades. What do you bet that Farina's new integrity commission won't touch that third rail?

Anonymous said...

There's no room for honest people in the schools, that's why you're an ATR. Everyone knows you're correct, no one cares about these schools, except the last intellectuals left (and they're all in the ATR pool or retired).

Philip Nobile said...

Thanks anonymous 1:01. While were on the subject of the DOE's institutional corruption, let's not forget our tribe. Our hands are even dirtier because we carry out the crimes on the ground with pencils and erasers. For years teachers watched the tampering and said nothing. Silence=scrubbing. My Brooklyn District Rep told me to cover up the cheating at Cobble Hill and screamed, "You hate kids" after I snitched to NYSED.

Our Atlanta problem won't go away until teachers rise up together and say no to grade fixing. Let's get behind the best idea Mulgrew ever had--a TRUTH COMMISSION.

Regrettably, the opposition caucuses and candidates along with our best and brightest bloggers (Chaz excepted) have adopted the DOE's see-nothing/do-nothing position.