Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The College and Career Readiness is All

A recent report by anti-public schools group StudentsFirstNY alleges that New York City schools are passing too many kids. The charter school charlatans request "an independent audit of school coursework to ensure New York City public schools are not lowering the bar and giving parents a false picture." 

Translation: Give us your schools.

And exactly what data do they use to support this claim of "scandalous" grade inflation? Yes, results from tests which over 250,o00 New Yorkers refused to take last year, tests intended to measure readiness for community colleges and careers.

How does New York State define "college and career readiness", anyway? Not even education commissioner MaryEllen Elia seems to know, though she does agree that the teacher evaluation system (APPR) is "random."

The truth is, thanks to College Board President David Coleman—yet another education "expert" who taught for zero seconds—only kids on track to score a 1630 on the SAT are apparently prepared for life beyond high school. Coleman pulled this number from his rear in 2013 when the New York State Education Department (NYSED) needed hard evidence that public schools were indeed "failing." Never mind that only 34% of kids who take the SAT score a 1630, or to what degree financial success equates with college and career readiness; Coleman had the cure. 

Though not quite "independent", the "audit of school coursework" StudentsFirstNY seeks is already well underway. After all, charter school bootlicker Governor Andrew Cuomo has used the same bogus test scores to justify his recent education "reforms" encased in the budget. So alarmed was Cuomo by the lack of college and career readiness in his state he decided to use tests he recently called "meaningless" as an excuse to shutter schools, fire middle class workers and paint a "false picture" of public education.

Now, with a twirl that would make a ballerina blush, Cuomo reportedly wants to stop using tests to destroy public education. The Lobbyist for the Students is evidently entombed in low poll numbers and needs working families to break him out. But don't be fooled: Cuomo merely wants to somehow swap standardized tests with "technology" to fire veteran teachers and steal their pensions. Maybe heavy hearted legislators like Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) will at least sniff the budget before they vote for it this year:

Something's rotten in Jeffrey Dinowitz's New York

With one putrid vote, Dinowitz—who New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has generously
supported over the years—helped bring high-stakes tests, receivership, and weakened rights for workers to New York State.

How did NYSUT respond to Dinowitz? By publicly thanking him with a glossy mailer, of course. 

Rather than condoning the budget votes of Dinowitz and others, NYSUT would better serve teachers, parents and students by loudly repeating the following question the next time the likes of StudentsFirstNY accuses our schools of "lowering the bar":

How does New York define college and career readiness? 

If the answer has anything to do with test scores, NYSUT wins the argument.        


  1. If those jackasses ever won an argument they'd have to give themselves another pension. Winning arguments is not in their manifesto.

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