Monday, October 17, 2011

Regents Vote May Ban Teacher Scoring

The New York State Board of Regents will decide Monday whether to bar teachers from grading their own students’ standardized tests, a longstanding practice that state officials say creates a temptation for educators to cheat in an era of high-stakes exams.

The ban, which would start in the 2012-13 school year, would require districts to score tests in other schools, on computers or in regional centers. The change would most likely cause Regents exams, now held just before graduation, to be held earlier in the spring and could lead to additional costs for districts.

The state is in the process of introducing a new evaluation system that judges teachers in part on how well their students do on standardized tests. These rising stakes are behind the state’s push for better test security, as is an acknowledgment by state officials that they have not done enough to detect or prevent cheating.

The Regents and the State Education Department “are committed to putting in place a system that ensures the integrity of our state assessment system,” said John B. King Jr., the state education commissioner, in a call with reporters on Friday.

The ban was one of several recommendations made by Dr. King and a group of state officials in a memo released Friday. The board will also vote Monday on whether to request $2.1 million from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature to improve test security this school year. That would include $1 million for erasure analysis to check 10 percent of tests this spring for signs of cheating.

An independent investigator will be named in the next several weeks to analyze how the state handles cheating complaints, the memo said. But officials did not for now recommend grading all state tests in a single location, saying it would cost $10 million to $12 million annually. It also did not advise barring teachers from proctoring their own students’ exams.

SCATS ~~ So the Regents don't trust the teachers to not cheat? What about the administrators? Is this really a big surprise?


Anonymous said...

This is not good news for teachers since it devalues them regarding their own ethics. So be it.
But then our regents test will be just like SAT and AP tests etc and the GRE's and LSAT in colleges. The schools do not correct or grade those. The SAT has a written section that somehow is evaluated. Maybe the state tests should come from a company rather than the state. It's just business. Not a big deal. Maybe we should just get rid of the regents tests.

The D and C had an article about how schools in the area choose students at the college level. Quite a few do not even require standardized tests. Others like RIT look at those tests as well as grades and sometimes a "portfolio".
High school seniors have to nail bite to see if they will get into their school of choice but across the state adults who wait a year or 2 get to take any classes they want at any of the colleges until they can "matriculate". High school kids are in artificially induced anxiety about getting into their first choice. What a racket. Whatever works. Again it is all big business.
And if you think public school teachers work only 186 days and are upset about that. look at the 13 week semester requirement for college professors. The whole year for them is 26 weeks of classes. Each professor or assistant has a responsibility for about 4 sections that meet probably 3 times per week.
They might not be getting a pro football salary but their work year is not bad. And many of them are not finding the cure for disease but instead dwelling over literature. And after 7 years they also have tenure.

SCATS said...

To 7:18AM ~~ Teachers have ethics?? Who knew!?

In all seriousness, there have been some HUGE scandals over this issue in other states. I think it's a wise idea for the Regents to be proactive. A friend who works in the city has shared with me about how city administrators adjust cumulative grades at the end of each school year an effort to ensure that more than a handful graduate! Given that, I'm sure there must be SOME intervention on locally graded exams as well.

Anonymous said...

The very people who benefit should not be the judges.


It's about time that public education caught up with common sense.

Anonymous said...

Testyn Be BAD.

I knoze cuz I teech langwich arts in a pubic skewel.

I a prowd unyn membur tu!

Gimme a raze.

Anonymous said...

Mr. McCabe resembles that remark.

Anonymous said...

Hard data suggests teachers "score" on average once a week. Below average, of course!

Anonymous said...

5:37 them teachers who only score once a week are going to the wrong bars.

Then again if you saw the video of the Friday fishers & fornicators from the bar in Hamlin you wouldn't wonder why they score so infrequently.

There's some ugly teachers in them there classrooms!

Anonymous said...

10:04 has it right. If you are serious about increasing pressure on teachers by basing evaluations on performance on NYS exams, you are giving an insentive to for teachers to cheat. Rather than foolishly looking over exams for cheating, you should instead remove the teachers from the exam process. Have the exams distributed, collected and marked by a third party. This removes the teachers from those times when there may be an opportunity to change the results.

The problem with is that it is more expensive to test this way. As a result, I predict one of two bad things will happen. Either:

1. NYS will adopt this plan. But they won't fund it, therefore sticking the local school districts with another unfunded mandate.
2. Nothing will change except for connecting evaluations with test scores. As a result, in a few years, scandals of teachers, buildings or whole school districts will be in the paper over cheating on exams.

We'll be watching.

Anonymous said...

9:13, you completely ignore the private testing industry that has evolved over the last 10 years.

Many professional tests are now taken in H&R Block offices (because of their computer facilities) for professional (nonteacher) certifications.

The industry could rapidly expand to handle student testing, and will unless some politician's relative gets a contract to develop what already exists.

If testing is removed from teacher duties, we can cut teacher pay.

Anonymous said...

just get ready to open your wallet to fund this insanity. just make different schools score each others tests, cheaper and will work just fine.

SCATS said...

To 7:12PM ~~ Not so fast. Some teachers travel between buildings. Yes, it will cost more, but I agree with the person who compared the present method with letting the fox guard the chicken coop. It's time to tighten things up ;)

Anonymous said...

scats and 7:12. They already correct and score each others tests. What the state is considering is having completely outside people scoring. That would be like the standardized tests.
The final outcome would be that we would now be teaching to a national test in the sciences and math and english and foreign languages. They already exist so all that has to happen is for the teachers to get the review books and teach away.
Maybe the teachers could be the outsiders to oversee the police in Greece and the city and the police could correct the tests? Intermunicipal cooperation. Maybe the test scores would improve with teaching to specific objectives and the police would have to answer to strict teachers for their behavior.