Is Test Tampering Big in NYC Too

The buzz on the street is that these high stakes tests are beingtampered with and may be soiled withcheating.

Why would anyone want to cheat on a test I mean don’t let the wordshigh stakesfool you. It’s not like these scores are tied to graduation, promotions, termination and bonuses Oh wait…yes they are.

Take a look at what I gathered, in five minutes, while playing with a spreadsheet I downloaded fromhttp://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/report/default.htmand Excel. . I’m all about data and using it as long as it’s accurate. Maybe it’s the engineer in me.

I took the Progress Report Scores of every school in theNYC DOE from 2006 to 2012 (CLICK HERE FOR FILE) and I created the following formula. [=COUNTIF(datarange,”A”)] It basically counts the number of “A”‘ scores in a column and spits out a number. I did this from 2006 to 2012 againusing this file. The graph is quite interesting.

image

Pretty sharp spike in A’s, right In the science and engineering world, we call that an anomaly.

Mr. Portelos, can you explain this two points in time you marked on the graph

Well, it is interesting that you would ask. Look at this video below, that I stumbled upon, from the date depicted by that red dot. It’s a NY1 News video talking about the new 2007 CSA-DOE contract including….$25,000bonuses for principals whose schools improve. Looks like that graph shows quite a number of improved schools, no We must have done something right that year. It then poses the question, “Why didn’t we continue with what caused all those A’s” Instead we closed more schools. Something doesn’t smell right here.

NY1 Coverage of 2007 NYC Principal’s Contract with bonuses from Mr. Portelos on Vimeo.

The video, coincidentallyenough, shows my principal, Linda Hill, being interviewed about the contract and bonus. When I saw it I had to do a doubletake and rewind. What are the chances

The other point on the graph is when Mayor Bloomberg was re-elected. He ran for re-election on, among other things, school performance improvement. Wow, quite an improvement right before election. I don’t teach math or ELA, but my colleagues told me both tests were “super easy” that year. Maybe no erasers are needed when you want to tamper with a test and scores. Control the data!!

I picture the following phone conversation in 2009 between Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch of Pearson:

Bloomberg Murdoch test tampering

Mike: “Hey Rup”
Rupert: “Hey Mike. What’s up”
Mike: “Listen, I’m up for re-election. I need you and the gals and fellas over at Pearson to make the tests very easy this year. Also, get the results back quicker, so I can campaign on it.”
Rupert: “Got it. NP!”
Mike: “Thanks. L8er. (

My school had a C in 07, a B in 08 and guess what we got after that contract with bonuses was approved…

 

No, seriously take a guess what my school, that is ranked 947th out of 1,059 middle schools, received as a grade….

 

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KEEP SCROLLING……

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A

Surprised Me neither. You don’t need to go far to see proof of this as it is still on our website home page from 2008.

http://schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/31/R049/Default.htm

What is also interesting was the reports that staff had seen collected test booklets opened up in a room we call “The Vault”. With so much at stake, what are the chances that the students’ answers were changed

So what do you think an Erasure Analysis will find if it is conducted in NYC

Here is one more graph from www.schooldigger.com

Berta Dreyfus 7th grade test graph

There is that spike again. Were the tests were just easier

See this file here where after we had a significant drop, the Superintendent of District 31 Ermina Claudio rated Principal Linda Hill as “Exceeding Expectations“. I’m not making this up. CLICK HERE FOR FILEor here for news storyhttp://gothamschools.org/2012/03/02/at-some-turnaround-schools-city-is-telling-principals-theyre-out/

Most test tampering involves getting higher scores. In April 2012, Principal Linda Hill and Assistant Principal Joanne Venier Aguirre authorized the changing of my classroom lockduring the NYS Math Test. I reported it and the Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon’s office has yet to furnish a case number or conclusion.
See my post What’s Wrong With this Picture

Principal ordered my locks changed during NYS Math Test

Principal ordered my locks changed during NYS Math Test

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About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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