Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Polakow-Suransky Says School Closure Process Is An Art

NYCDOE Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky tells the New York Times that school closures based upon school report cards are "an art, not a science."


These guys at the both the NYSED and the NYCDOE are always telling us these methodologies they're using on both individual school report cards and individual teacher evaluations are "scientific," "objective," and "rigorous."

The old way of evaluating schools and teachers was "soft" and "subjective."

The new way - the Shael way, the Gates way, the Obama way, the Cuomo way, the Bloomberg way - is "hard," "data-driven," "objective," and "scientific."

So what if the tests that these school report cards are based on were error-riddled?

So what if the value-added measurements used in the NYCDOE Teacher Data Reports have a median margin of error of 52% and maximum margin of error of 87%?

This is data-driven science and you CANNOT argue with the numbers.

Except when you can, of course.

Which is apparently always.

These numbers they pick and choose, the way they decide to weigh them, the tests they decide to use for them, the rubrics they decide to use for the tests - this stuff is ALL subjective.

It leaves out a whole host of other ways to evaluate schools and teachers and privileges just a few.

Parents at P.S. 3 in Greenwich Village say that is exactly the case with their children's school:

 “They are educating critical thinking and creative minds and that is not at all reflected on these tests,” said Nick Gottlieb, co-president of the school’s PTA and a father of two students. Lisa Siegman, P.S. 3’s principal for the past 12 years, said the progress report favored schools that improved their test scores over those that maintained high scores.

“It’s such a complicated statistic that you can have families feel that their kids are doing really well and still get a C,” Ms. Siegman said.

Yes, but how do you "rigorously," "scientifically," and "objectively" measure the teaching of critical thinking skills to children, Mr. Gottlieb? 

Don't you understand that if something cannot be immediately measured by a Pearson no-bid contract test, it does not exist in any objective way?

Don't you understand that what the NYCDOE is doing here is SCIENCE and cannot be argued with your critical thinking skills?

Except when of course even Shael Polakow-Suransky admits it's not a science.

Might be good to tuck away this Shael quote and bring it back up at the PEP school closure meetings later this year.

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