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Saturday, August 3, 2013

New Test Results Are Disastrous For The DOE

UFT's Mike Mulgrew slams Bloomberg's test policy about 9 years too late, and gives the DOE just cause to fire teachers.


State test scores expected to drop dramatically from tougher reading and math exams

State Education Commissioner John King warned principals that the results could be disastrous, and suggested they use the scores 'judiciously' when making firing decisions. Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew rips Mayor Bloomberg's approach on education, saying it 'was always a numbers game' to him.

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State test scores — used in decisions to promote students, award bonuses to principals and fire teachers — are expected to take a steep decline this year as a result of tougher exams. United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew slammed Mayor Bloomberg's education legacy: 'He never understood that real learning means more than endless test prep.'

State education officials will drop a bomb on thousands of city kids and parents Wednesday when they release scores from the controversial and tougher reading and math exams.
State Education Commissioner John King sounded the alarm for disastrous results with a letter sent to principals Friday afternoon.
“Scores are expected to be significantly lower than the 2011-’12 scores,” he wrote, adding that principals should use the scores “judiciously” when making decisions about whether to fire teachers.
The state test scores are used in decisions to promote students, award bonuses to principals and fire teachers. This year, for the first time, the tests were tied to national standards known as Common Core.
City and state Education officials have predicted for months that scores would fall by about one-third on the tougher tests — in part because city schools have not yet received a curriculum aligned to the new standards.
But city Education Department sources said Friday that the drop could be even worse than expected.
“People are freaking out at Tweed,” said the agency official, who asked to remain anonymous. “They’re trying to find a way to spin the scores so it doesn’t look so bad.”
The teachers union released a report Friday predicting just how steep the drop would be.
According to the report, the percentage of elementary school students who meet standards will decrease by 19 points in reading and by 28 points in math. The middle-school grades will drop 14 points in reading and 22 points in math.
The results are expected to be significantly worse for black and Latino students.
New York is one of several states that rolled out new, more rigorous math and reading tests this year for grades three to eight to better prepare kids for college and careers. About 450,000 students in the city took the exams in April.
“Tests have gotten tougher and scores will reflect that,” said Lauren Passalacqua, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bloomberg. “But this is a transition that absolutely must take place.”
But teachers union president Michael Mulgrew ripped the looming, gloomy results as more evidence of Bloomberg’s failed education legacy.
“Education was always a numbers game to Mayor Bloomberg, but the numbers are turning against him,” said Mulgrew. “He never understood that real learning means more than endless test prep, and kids and schools are paying the price for his failed policies.”

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