Friday, February 05, 2016

One Renewal School's Bogus Rubric To Give Failing Students A Passing Grade.

I was contacted by a teacher who decided to blow the whistle on how his school makes it virtually impossible to fail the students at the renewal school he works in.  If a student shows up once and awhile to class, he cannot get a grade of below 55%.   Worse, they devalue subject area knowledge to 30% of their grade. That means students who are academically lacking can pass by simply obtaining points from the other four areas. Let's take a look at the renewal school's classroom grading policy,

Classroom Grading Policy


Personal Responsibility..............10%
Social Responsibility..................10%'
Critical Thinking........................20%
Academic Knowledge................30%

Notice it does not add up to 100% and affords the school the 10% "wiggle room" to raise a 55% grade to 65% and pass the academically undeserving student.

For example, a hypothetical student named Carmen takes a course in English and shows up when she feels like it.  Carmen refuses to do her homework but does take notes when she attends class.  Moreover, when she does show up she is relatively well-behaved and that she does exhibit some social responsibility by cooperating with classmates on tasks.  Finally, she communicates and has shown some basic critical thinking skills.  Before we look at Carmen's final grade let's see how many points she obtained without the academic component.

Personal Responsibility..............5%
Social Responsibility.................5%'
Critical Thinking......................20%

Academically, Carmen constantly fails her tests and quizzes and after a curve, her average academic grade is 50%.  Therefore, when you add the 15% to the 50% from the other four habits, Carmen gets a passing grade of 65%.  Even if Carmen falls short, there is always the additional 10% "wiggle room" the school can award the student to ensure she passes the course.

Devaluing a diploma is academic fraud but at least one renewal school only cares about their credit accumulation and graduation rate and not the academic achievement for their students or the fact that they are pushing out students who are academically unprepared.

Note: in today's New York Post, ant-teacher Carl Campanile published an article that showed an increase in graduation rates for the renewal schools. However, as shown above, the graduation rate is not based upon academic achievement but a rubric that makes it difficult for teachers to fail students who bother to show up, while doing little actual work.


Anonymous said...

The vast majority of all schools are doing it. If the schools don't do it, the school becomes a charter and everyone becomes an ATR. Sound familiar? Bloomberg is still in charge. Eventually all this will be exposed and those schools closed. Then the charters will do the exact same thing, without repercussions.

Anonymous said...

I know a place where no work is automatically counted as a 50, and averaged in with the grade, if you do only 15% of the work you can still pass, at least the example in your blog rationalizes behavior as a means to pass. These bogus grading systems are nothing new and widespread.

Philip Nobile said...

What Chaz and Anonymous 7:50 AM report is a crime under state education law.* What I don't get is why neither of you identified the scheming schools. What good are your allegations, if you don't name names,force an investigation, put Farina and Mulgrew on the spot? Remember, Mulgrew is the Truth Commission guy.

*N.Y. EDN. LAW § 225 : NY Code - Section 225: Unlawful acts in respect to examinations and records
A person who shall:
9-a.Knowingly and willfully make an unauthorized and false alteration or representation of any grade, credit, honor, award or standing in the permanent record or transcript of any student with respect to a school or college under the supervision of the regents, the commissioner, or the university of the state of New York.

Barney said...

I will mention a school by name, FDNY at Thomas Jefferson Campus in Brooklyn. Has anyone researched why this school of less than 200 students has a 75 percent teacher turnover rate every year? Teachers being fired, getting Ineffective ratings, quitting, leaving NY. The place is totally out of control, everybody running around with cell phones blasting, hats on, walking halls all day, not a homework assignment done all year, coming and going as they please, 3 percent college ready rate while having 70 plus percent grad rate, Safety Agents on cell phones. Absentee UFT Rep there. They cant control 1 hallway? Thats the whole school. Meanwhile, credit recovery for everybody, students passing classes with 30 percent attendance.

CJ said...

How about Cypress Hills HS at Franklin K Lane? Place stinks of marijuana, nobody there "college ready" either, principal is about 28 years old, with 0 days teaching.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I know about FDNY, real zoo, only person who stays is the principal because he is the only person he wont fire.

Anonymous said...

Richmond Hill High School was 100% guilty of doing the exact same thing. The place is an absolute nightmare to work in, and administration will very quickly target teachers who are honest and ethical about giving students the grades that they truly deserve.

Anonymous said...

Wow what the hell is going on in the NYCDOE system???? I cannot believe what is happening. Is this an effort to trash the system to crash? Why is this system so dysfunctional? Experienced teachers who have so much to offer our kids sitting around rotating from one school to another. Others who are at schools being harassed by administrators. Even the younger teachers are stressing out with all this bull shit. The students are the ones who are also suffering from the dysfunction. How much longer this goes on is beyond me.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Kwait at John Bowne forces teachers to pass students. What a joke our profession has become

Anonymous said...

Isn't Bryant HS the school in Queens were that Lesba AP, Pelagia Papoutsis that chases females students? Read about her on the daily mail website. How is she still employed?

Anonymous said...

Add City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (Brooklyn) to the list. Teachers are not allowed to fail students or to discipline them in any way. If a teacher emails a parent to inform of a student's bad behavior, and the behavior is really bad, the principal will tell the parent that the teacher was mistaken and his or her child is just fine. And if an F is given, it is magically changed. The principal bullies all of the veteran teachers who don't subscribe to his rhetoric that "it's not the student's fault if they are acting out, it's society's fault." That may be the case, I'm not here to argue that, but teaching these students to be mediocre or worse because society will bail you out, is the biggest disservice to these students you could do. And to top it off, this is an early college HS where they get 2 free years at CUNY City Tech. I don't think any students have finished their 2-year degrees yet...