Check out the story “Promotion in Doubt” by Radio Rookies reporter AJ Frazer, which aired this morning on WNYC:
AJ, a failing eighth grader at MS 80, managed to go on to high school with 65’s though the promotional standards were purportedly set at 70. Though he may be a marginal student, AJ’s critical faculties and journalistic instincts rival or surpass those of many veteran reporters. See how he manages to stump the DOE’s Chief Academic Officer with the question that seems to elude all New York Times reporters:
NARRATION: I started wondering, "Why don't I do my work?" And for awhile I just blamed the school. The schools in New York City get report cards. They're graded on how well students do on the tests each year.
AJ: I don't know what MS 80 got on their little evaluation test.
NARRATION: So I looked up MS 80's grades.
AJ: And our overall score is: 49.9 out of 100 which is a B. Wow. How would that be a B if we got less than half right?
(walking into the Department of Education)
NARRATION: I headed down to the Department of Education to get some answers from one of the head people in charge, Ms. Sabrina Hope-King.
AJ: Um. I have a personal question for you. If I got a 49.9 out of 100 on a test, what grade would you give me?
MS. HOPE-KING: An F.
AJ: An F, ok. MS 80 only?
MS. HOPE-KING: Why do you ask?
AJ: Oh, cause MS 80 only got a 49.9 out of 100 points but they got a B, why is that?
MS. HOPE-KING: Oh!
(laughing fades under)