I posted about that story this morning in a piece entitled Daily News Misses A Big Part Of ELA Regents Score Plummet Story, raising two points that were ignored in the News story:
1. The Regents/SED changed the grading charts from 2012 to 2013, raising the number of correct responses required on the multiple choice component as well as the scores needed on the writing components in order for students to pass the exam. The difficulty of the reading passages and vocabulary used in the multiple choice questions were also increased. These changes to the test contributed in part to the drop in scores.
2. Regents exams are still graded in-house at charter schools. If there was grade inflation at traditional public schools as the DN reported, it behooves them to now take a look at charters where they are still grading their own exams.
There was undoubtedly grade inflation at some schools, including the ones named in the DN article like the School For Excellence where scores fell 50 percentage points when exams went from being graded in-house to a centralized location.
That's an outrageous drop and is pretty clearly a sign of a massaging of stats - something that is not isolated to schools, btw, as crime stats, emergency response times, fire stats and jobs programs numbers were also manipulated during the Bloomberg Era as City Hall put a lot of pressure on those below to consistently get "better" stats.
Nonetheless it's wrong, it shouldn't have been done and kudos to the Daily News for pointing it out and naming some names of schools with big drops in scores.
I now look forward to the Daily News doing a big expose on charter schools where the Regents exams are still graded in-house.
Considering the emphasis the charter industry puts on test scores and making comparisons via those scores to traditional public schools, they might want to take a look to see how many charter schools are massaging their statistics during in-house grading sessions.
You can bet there's some.
I won't hold my breath waiting for that charter school/Regents exam grade inflation story however.
Because the Daily News has an agenda when it comes to education issues and that agenda is almost always pro-charter/anti-traditional public school.
And you can see that in just how this grade inflation story was framed, both by what they put into it and what they left out.
A fair story would have noted that charters still grade Regents exam in-house and reported on the changes to the grading chart by SED.
The DN story didn't do either and that's why it feels like another hammer job in a long line of DN hammer jobs on traditional public schools and traditional public school teachers.