Pro-charter school group Families for Excellent Schools ripped Mayor de Blasio on Thursday after city Education Department officials revealed a steep decline in the number of kids held back a grade or forced to go to summer school.
“Socially promoting tens of thousands of students, and depriving them of critical learning, promises to deepen New York City’s failing schools crisis,” said Families for Excellent Schools CEO Jeremiah Kittredge.
Education Department officials Wednesday said city principals referred 19,422 students to summer school classes in 2015, down from 32,205 in 2013.
The officials also revealed that the percentage of students held back a grade fell from 2.5% in 2013 to 1.2% in 2014.
State test scores are often used to decide which students get left back a grade or have to attend summer school.
We know the Common Core tests were rigged for failure, with NYSED setting the scores such that failure rates would sky-rocket from the pre-Common Core tests.
And lo and behold, many more students failed the Common Core tests than the pre-Common Core tests.
Nonetheless, if you look at the chart linked above, you'll see there's progress, albeit incremental, in the test scores from 2013 to 2014.
Should the rates of students being held back improve along with the scores or should they stay the same because, you know, ed reformers think kids need to learn a little grit?
As for summer school, FES may not know that Governor Cuomo pushed through and continues to tout a rule that says the Common Core tests will not be used against students for a couple of years (although they are being used on teachers.)
Indeed, the NYCDOE pointed this out in their pushback:
Schools officials said de Blasio's policies are in accordance with a change in state law that requires educators consider multiple criteria in decisions to promote students or hold them back.
In fact, Cuomo called the test scores "meaningless" for students back in April as the opt-out movement against the state's tests was gaining steam:
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday said parents who have chosen to have their children “opt out” of taking this month’s state exams don’t understand that the scores are “meaningless” in terms of students' grades.
“That’s their option,” Cuomo, referring to parents who have participated in the unprecedented boycott of state exams, told reporters after an Association for a Better New York breakfast in Manhattan. “What I don’t think has been adequately communicated is, we passed a law that stops the use of the grades on the test for the student. So the grades are meaningless to the student.”
Cuomo was referring to provisions in the 2014-15 state budget that prohibited Common Core-aligned tests from being included on students’ permanent records or used in grade promotion decisions. He said that action was necessary because of the flawed rollout of the Common Core standards in New York, which he has blamed on the State Board of Regents and Education Department.
“My position was, the department of education had not done a good job in introducing the Common Core, and they had rushed it, so we said, for a period of five years, the test scores won’t count,” Cuomo continued. “So they can opt out if they want to, but on the other hand, if the child takes the test as practice, then the score doesn't count anyway.”
Would have been nice if the DN could have gotten into the story the part about Cuomo insisting that Common Core test scores were "meaningless" and would not be used in any punitive way against them.
Instead the DN story just makes it into a they said/they said thing, with FES vs. the DOE.
Nonetheless, that's another reason for fewer students going to summer school than in the past.
The media's got a bias here, to make de Blasio's NYCDOE look less "rigorous" than the Bloomberg NYVDOE, so they're happy to give Families For Excellent Schools the press to bash the NYCDOE and de Blasio, then half-ass the pushback.