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By Chris Geden, CEAM Community Outreach Director
If our goal is to educate our children to the point of college readiness than how can we continue to pass our children on when they simply aren’t ready?
New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott wants to find out if his schools’ kids are making the grade. Good.
At the urging of Post columnist Michael Goodwin, Walcott Wednesday, launched a probe into how the City’ teachers grade and promote students in the city’s 1.1 million-pupil system.
As I have been following this article in the New York Post I am amazed and galled at the ease in which our educational system continues to fail our kids.
For example, one Manhattan high-school staffer told Goodwin that “teachers in [the] school are ‘encouraged’ to pass 80 percent of students, no matter their grades or attendance.” Another wrote that, “Our mandated passing rate is 60 percent.”
This is the kind of forward thinking that we need. Although NYC is hundreds of miles from Mo, it is vital for the future of education reform here, for us to stay engaged in what is happening in all corners of the country, And world for that matter.
A recent study showed that 43 percent of first-time freshmen entering Oklahoma colleges and universities from high schools in 2009 were not ready for college work and had to be remediated. We need to stop this trend now and be solution-oriented. We have options tutors, after school programs and summer schools.
Here’s the complete opinion piece from the New York Post:
Last Updated: 3:39 AM, July 8, 2011
Posted: July 08, 2011
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott wants to find out if New York City kids are making the grade. Good.
At the urging of Post columnist Michael Goodwin, Walcott Wednesday launched a probe into grading and promotion in the city’s 1.1 million-pupil system.
The Department of Education nominally ended social promotion in 2004. But as Goodwin wrote, and school employees confirmed, the practice lingers.
One Manhattan high-school staffer told Goodwin that “teachers in [the] school are ‘encouraged’ to pass 80 percent of students, no matter their grades or attendance.” Another wrote that, “Our mandated passing rate is 60 percent.”
A Brooklyn high-school professional told Goodwin, “The administration allows students to run around, go to class for 5 minutes, and we must mark them present . . . We are also encouraged to change attendance of students marked absent up to 2 weeks earlier, looking for ‘proof’ they are absent. So teachers just give up and mark them present.”
It’s vital that Walcott ascertain whether these are just isolated cases or part of a larger pattern.
It’s true that city students have been doing somewhat better on state tests — and the city says that its graduation rates are up.
But Goodwin’s reporting calls even those meager gains into question.
Walcott seems sincere about wanting to get to the bottom of this. He’s invited more whistleblowers to e-mail him: DMWalcott@schools.nyc.gov.
If you know something, say something.
It’s for the children.