State education officials will drop a bomb on thousands of city kids and parents Wednesday when they release scores from the controversial and tougher reading and math exams.
State Education Commissioner John King sounded the alarm for disastrous results with a letter sent to principals Friday afternoon.
“Scores are expected to be significantly lower than the 2011-’12 scores,” he wrote, adding that principals should use the scores “judiciously” when making decisions about whether to fire teachers.
King and his buddy in corporate reform Merryl Tisch cannot wait for these scores to be released and for parents to freak out so they can use this moment to scapegoat teachers and schools and further their privatization goals for the public school system.
But let's recall that these vaunted new Common Core tests developed by Pearson have been kept secret by the state so that parents cannot get a look at them and teachers cannot point out the problems with them.
Let's remember too that Pearson is the fine, fine company that brought us the Pineapple and the Hare debacle a year ago and brought us not one but two sets of egregious errors on the Gifted and Talented test that only got resolved because parents found the problems.
King and Tisch are going to try and use these tests to scapegoat teachers and schools and mobilize horrified parents to jump on board their reformy bandwagon.
But before that happens, it behooves the taxpayers in this state - the one's who pay the salaries for King and his NYSED reformers - to get a look at the tests and see just how valid and fair these were.
King and Tisch do not want that because they know the tests will not stand up to public scrutiny.
That's why they threatened to fire any teacher who released any of the test questions publicly.
We know the timing of these tests was ridiculous and many students were not able to finish them.
We know that they did that on purpose in order to set up just the kind of results we're going to see on Wednesday.
We also know Pearson screwed up the Gifted and Talented test results twice.
We know that after the first screw up, Pearson did some "quality control" and assured parents there were no more problems with the tests - but parents found more errors anyway!
If Tisch and King are so certain that these test scores are "disastrous" and demonstrate the reason why the education system is in need of drastic and disruptive reform, then why are they so afraid to reveal the test contents so people in this state can see them for themselves?
What are they afraid of that they need to operate in secrecy?
Light and air are healthy for a good many things in life - and they're especially healthy when state officials with pro-charter/pro-privatization agendas say "Trust us!" on test scores they're using to further their pro-charter/pro-privatization agendas.
Tisch and King cannot be trusted and the test contents need to be revealed.
It's that simple.