Posts tagged "dept. of unintended consequences"
July 29, 2010
Thousands of students are moving up to the next grade this fall even though they failed last year’s state reading and math tests.
Caught between two sets of conflicting test standards — one produced by the city, one by the state — over 10,000 students were wrongly labeled as passing or failing.
Some of them, about 1,807, will get to skip the last week of the summer session, which they had attended unnecessarily. The new state standards show that these students passed their exams.
But the vast majority of them, about 8,500, were initially told they passed and will shortly learn that they actually failed. City education officials have decided to promote these students to the next grade level, though in a typical year they might have been held back.
A teacher emailed to say that a few eighth graders at his school were told they passed the test, but the state’s cutoff scores now show that they failed. Still, they will begin high school in the fall. (more…)
June 4, 2010
When the state announced plans to push back the date of the annual tests, some teachers and administrators bristled. But now the change is complicating a rite of passage: figuring out which students are promoted to the next grade and which are going to summer school.
This year’s delayed testing schedule puts New York City in the awkward position of choosing which students to send to summer school without knowing whether they passed the state’s annual math and English exams. Currently, schools have their students’ raw test scores, but they don’t know whether the scale score passes the official state cut-off for passing, because the state hasn’t set cut-off scores yet.
In response, the city is working with the state to set their own cutoff scores months before the official results come out in August. (more…)
April 2, 2009
I have to admit that I pay more attention to high school quality than to high school sports. But apparently it’s a matter of consensus among high school basketball aficionados that New York City was once, but is no longer, the undisputed epicenter of the sport. A long article in The New Republic, the magazine about politics, tries to explain why the city schools no longer produce top prospects.
One reason is that basketball simply isn’t a defining element of the city’s youth culture anymore, writes Jason Zengerle in the article, which focuses on Lance Stephenson, a senior from Coney Island who just led his team, the Abraham Lincoln High School Railsplitters, its fourth straight city championship.
Another problem, according to a recruiter that Zengerle interviewed, is the proliferation of small high schools in the city:
Not only were good players now leaving New York for New Jersey and for prep schools, but the ones who were staying were being spread too thinly across the city. He mentioned that last year there were 180 varsity boys basketball teams in the PSAL. “Banana Kelly is the name of one school,” Konchalski said. “Urban Peace is the name of another one. Shouldn’t that be a given? Urban Peace? Who’s their rival? Guerrilla Warfare?” It was impossible to cover that many teams with quality coaches, not to mention quality teammates.
One additional note: The city’s Public School Athletics League fielded 180 varsity teams last year — but there are far, far more than 180 high schools. Some campuses with multiple small schools inside have teams that draw players from all of the schools in the building, but there are still many high schools whose students don’t have the option to play competitive sports. I have spoken with many eighth-graders at small high schools who say the biggest downside of their school is the lack of sports and other traditional elements of student life, such as a wide range of after-school clubs.
December 12, 2008
Philissa just put up a feature looking in-depth at one of the latest school closures, a Red Hook, Brooklyn, high school that will be the first in the city to be shuttered without ever graduating a student. Parents laid out why they worry that will create problems:
“The majority of the kids are saying, if this is going to happen, they’re not going to continue going to school,” Vickie LaSalle, whose daughter is a junior, said today. “Some of them are saying they’re going to get their GED. Some are saying they’re going to drop out.”
That’s what another mother predicted on Tuesday morning, just after the school’s closure was announced. She said she thought many of the students would drop out rather than commute to schools outside of Red Hook, a neighborhood that doesn’t have a subway station