Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cheating on Regents Scoring

Wall St. Journal has an article re a study done on NYS (and NYC DOE)
Regents exam scores. Study strongly supports the position that many
Regents exam papers are "scrubbed" to turn marginally failing papers
into marginally passing ones. Study also reports that this situation is
far, far worse in NYC than in the rest of NYS.

Don't start about Campbell's Law, please. Article and underlying report
indicate that this situation existed long before NCLB and high stakes

In fact, a 1990 audit from then-NYS Comptroller Regan on grading of RCTs
and Regents exam papers which I have in hard copy form reported that:
a) 10% of all exams were improperly graded, and b) many incidents were
described in which adults had changed students' wrong answers to right
ones, usually to change "marginally failing" papers into "marginally
passing" ones. Comptroller Regan recommended that NYSED and the Regents
investigate the latter cases further and discipline those adults
responsible. NYSED and the Regents refused ... on the ground that doing
so wasn't their job. This signalled to the NYS public education
industry that folks could screw around with Regents exam grading 'till
the cows came in and NYSED/Regents wouldn't do a thing about it. Word
got around.

The WSJ article and underlying study cast the most serious doubt on the
validity of the NYC DOE's reported graduation rates ... because a
significant number of kids who were graduated actually appear to have
failed Regents exams and should not have been given diplomas.

If/when the Comptroller DiNapoli audit on the validity of the NYC DOE's
discharge numbers ever comes out, it should provide the final nail in
the Bloomberg/Klein coffin since their reported increases in high school
graduation rates will have been exposed as totally bogus, while alleged
improvements in NYC DOE students' test scores have already been
substantially discredited.

Kids "discharged" because they allegedly transferred to non-NYC DOE
districts when they actually had dropped out. Regents exam grades
raised to change failing papers into passing ones. I won't even get
into the bogus credit recovery issue since all credits granted under
credit recovery schemes were simply wrongly awarded prior to October
2009. That's because the Regents only passed regulations authorizing
credit recovery at that time. Before then, recovered credits were
bogus. Period.

Dee Alpert

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