Monday, March 23, 2015

Why NYSED Doesn't Trust Us to Grade Our Students' Tests

Looks like the geniuses at NYSED have done it again. Even after they field test the questions, they still don't work, so they get to erase them. These, of course, are the tests written by Pearson, which are much better than tests you or I could write. After all, the folks at Pearson have never met any of your students, don't know them from a hole in the wall, and are therefore the only people on earth who are qualified to judge them, or you, or whether your schools stay open.

One of the coolest things about the state tests is that they set the cut scores after they grade them. So if John King says 70% of our kids are gonna fail, well, that's just the way it is. If they say you need to answer 50 questions to pass, and too many kids do it, they can say they need 55. Or if not enough kids pass, they can say they need 45, and so on. Nice work if you can get it, and when you can toss out any questions that skew your results the wrong way, your success is fairly assured.

Here's the thing--that's exactly why head ed. Merryl Tisch decided we couldn't grade our students' Regents exams. Some teachers, horror of horrors, were finding kids who scored 64, and finding ways to bump the scores up to 65. What an awful thing to do, when the kid who scored 64 could simply spend another year studying whatever it was he or she missed by one point. Spending an entire year agonizing over one stinking point builds grit, or rigor, or whatever the hell it is that we're supposed to want for our kids.

Now NY State doesn't go scrimping around for one stinking point. NY State determines what results it wants, and manipulates the scores so they prove whatever. Want all the kids to pass so you look like geniuses? Want all the kids to fail so you can give more schools to Moskowitz? Want to have a sudden improvement? Want a crisis? You can get anything you want in Merryl Tisch's restaurant.

Now, since NYSED blatantly twists the scores to do whatever, they kind of assume we will too. I mean, have you known people who lie and cheat and say any damn thing to suit their purposes? In my experience, people like that tend to suspect the worst of others. They're very free with accusations, usually angry ones, that other people behave as they do. So don't take it personally if NYSED doesn't trust you.

They don't trust anyone, since they can't trust themselves. Because they are a bunch of lying manipulative weasels, they assume we are too. The only bad thing is how many people believe it.

We're gonna have to do something about that.
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