Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No Test Left Behind--Courier it!

Thanks to Juan Gonzales’ sleuthing, we learn that DOE has become a client of private courier services to the tune of $5 million a year (see today's Daily News). What needs to be transported so urgently and securely? The periodic assessments mandated by Klein, for one. The Office of Accountability will be spending $2 million or so this year alone to pick up the tests from schools and deliver them to DOE for processing.

One of those tests was delivered to Stuyvesant High School, where yesterday students took an assessment of their “readiness” to take the Integrated Algebra Regents (successor to Math A). The Office of Accountability deemed this necessary even though Stuyvesant's New York State School Report Card shows not a single one of the 2756 Stuyvesant students who took Math A during the reported 3-year period got below 65; indeed, depending on the year, 98%, 99% and 100% of students got 85 or better. This kind of performance, basically repeated for all Regents, had spared Stuyvesant students from the mindless Tweed assessment machine. No more—it seems they will now be taking “readiness assessments” for all the required Regents.

Absolutely no educational purpose is achieved by measuring Stuyvesant students’ readiness to take any Regents test. Even if they were sent by pack mule, tests cost the system real money and this utter waste at a time of fiscal emergency is unconscionable. Ironically, as the kids were dutifully taking the superfluous assessment, Stuyvesant's Principal was informing the School Leadership team that next year’s budget will not have enough money to allow students to register for the 8 or 9 classes they traditionally take.

What are Klein’s priorities? Educating our kids or lining the pockets of private contractors?

Paola de Kock


Anonymous said...

These assessments are simply expensive tests that teachers would normally give, grade over the weekend, give back to the students, and help students as their test scores dictate. No extra money, no couriers, no bogus data programs. But, then again, that's not what Bloomberg, Klein, and their McGraw-Hill buddies want.

Anonymous said...

Its even worse at Bronx Science. Rejecting the DOE acuity test as useless, the school then goes ahead and offers to create its own tests - DYO, Design Your Own - only it proposes to extend testing to all major subject areas. It's all about creating data to use on the Quality Review. This business approach to education is all about producing useless data to fool the public. We saw how well this is working for the economy. After Enron, AIG, Lehman Brothers, it should occur to people that business leaders are not the best people to run government or the education system.