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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oh No!! Shock And Amazement Fills NYC After Another Scoring Error In Testing G & T Kids Pops Up

Schools test-biz failures

Fury at gifted-kid flubs

  • Last Updated: 1:21 AM, May 11, 2013
  • Posted: 1:21 AM, May 11, 2013
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Oops, they did it again!
The testing company responsible for identifying city students for gifted academic programs made its second sloppy screw-up in less than a month — leading top education officials to consider dumping the firm.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott revealed yesterday that Pearson Inc., which has a three-year, $5.5 million deal to operate the city’s testing for accelerated programs, uncovered a second scoring error that impacted the placement of more than 300 students. The gaffe was caused by a miscalculation of the kids’ ages.
Some students were told they hadn’t qualified for the programs when they had, and others were ranked lower than they deserved — reducing their chances of getting assigned to programs because of limited seats, education officials said.
Last month, the firm admitted to an even more egregious error that similarly affected the placement of more than 4,700 kids.
Both errors came to light only because parents repeatedly challenged the accuracy of the scoring.
“This failure to complete the basic quality-assurance checks Pearson confirmed that they had completed [after the first error] is deeply disturbing; for this reason, the Department of Education is reviewing a variety of options including terminating Pearson’s contract,” said Walcott.
Although city officials hoped replacing one of the two entrance exams for G&T programs this year would make the admissions more selective, the number of students scoring above the cutoff bar actually shot up by 2,000 students.
Qualifying rates were particularly high in wealthy Manhattan neighborhoods like Tribeca and the Upper West Side, although the city no longer guarantees placement.
City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn went a step further than Walcott — calling on the city to shred its G&T contract with Pearson.
The firm is also responsible for the state’s high-stakes English and math exams in grades 3 to 8, which came under significant scrutiny last month.
“I urge the New York State Department of Education to learn from DOE’s experience, vet every stage of Pearson’s scoring of the state exams and carefully reconsider whether Pearson should be trusted with future state testing,” she said.
Scott Smith, president of Pearson Learning Assessment, acknowledged there was “no excuse for the scoring errors.”
“Pearson is taking all necessary measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.
DOE officials said they were extending the registration deadline — for a second time — to give affected families time to select a program.
The new deadline is next Friday.

Taping meetings

Taping your meetings -

The Panel For Educational Policy is our new "pretend" school board, and there are certain parts of the PEP Bylaws which are relevant to the issue of whether or not a disciplinary meeting with a Superintendent can be taped:

See Page 12, Section 4.3.3, Paragraph 5 of the PEP bylaws:

Since PEP (and the former Board of Education) recognized the importance of recording hearings conducted at the Office of Appeals and Reviews, then, clearly, other types of disciplinary hearings (such as those before a superintendent) should be recorded as well.

Perhaps you should post the above bylaw and discuss it in some detail.

Here is a state-by-state recording guide:

Here is the information about New York:

Here is the case that was cited in the above:

By the way, when tenured teacher Teddy Smith went to his pretend "interview" with the Office of Special Investigations and met with Michael Humphries, he (Teddy) took his Attorney. Teddy was charged with threatening to kill his arbitrator Jack Tillem (no longer on the panel). Teddy's former Attorney wanted to be paid $54,000 for doing Teddy's 3020-a, and Teddy never had made any such deal,  so David Kearney called Theresa Europe up and told her that Teddy had said that he was going to kill Tillem. Theresa Europe contacted Mr. Tillem, Tillem recused himself, and then Bonnie Weinstock took the case and terminated Teddy.

I was in attendance at all of TEddy's hearings, and the most interesting part of the case is, when Teddy went to see Humphries, he had a secret tape recorder. Humphries NEVER asked Teddy if he had ever said that he was going to harm Tillem in any way!!!! Humphries wanted Teddy to give him some OTHER tapes, neglecting to ask Teddy if he was taping the "interview"!

So, when Teddy's Attorney cross-examined Humphries at Teddy's 3020-a, Humpries at first said that of course he had asked TEddy if he had said anything like that. Then Teddy's lawyer told the Hearing Officer that he had a tape of the interview, and a recorder, to play the tape. The tape was played, and no mention of the charge was ever made by Humphries. Teddy was, nonetheless terminated by Weinstock.

David Pakter taped his interviews, so did so many other people.

Francesco is just the person to bring this issue to light.