Education

Grading on a Curve? Mayor Judges Schools, Self a Success

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The Mayor today praises the performance of elementary, middle, and K-8 schools under his and Chancellor Joel Klein’s administration. In their annual Progress Report, fifty-eight percent of schools moved up at least one letter grade or attained an A for two years in a row, 38 percent of schools received an A, etc.

These grades are based 60 percent on “student progress,” 25 percent on student performance, and 15 percent on school “environment.” “Annual parent, teacher, and student surveys” are factored into the judgment.

This is, of course, the administration’s own report. Some teachers have disputed their schools’ grades, and some reporters have questioned the grading system, which in at least one instance lifted a school from a 2007 “D” grade to an “A” despite its principal’s admission that her staff had made “no changes” in between.

And in today’s Voice Nat Hentoff lists a number of civic organizations that would give poor grades to the Mayor on his safeguarding of students’ Constitutional rights and on school crowding.