View Full Version : All NYC New York State Weighs Ban in Teachers Grading Their Own Students' Regents Exam

05-12-2011, 09:29 AM
From WSJ.com (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730804576317731535162302.html) by Barbara Martinez and Tom McGinty:

New York state is weighing whether to prohibit high-school teachers from grading their own students' Regents exams. The Board of Regents, which sets education policy for the state, is set to vote next week on the ban.

The proposed rule is tucked into regulations governing an overhaul of teacher and principal evaluations. Last year, the Legislature passed a law requiring the state to revamp the evaluations and tie them, in part, to student standardized test scores.

In New York, teachers have been grading their own students' Regents tests for decades. Students need to pass five Regents tests to obtain a high-school diploma. The proposed rule also applies to elementary and intermediate grade-school tests, but schools typically send those tests outside for scoring.

In February, a Wall Street Journal analysis of 2009 Regents scores statewide showed a bulge in tests that received the exact score of 65, the minimum necessary to pass a Regents exam. Experts on testing and statistics said the results suggested widespread score inflation. For the 2009 U.S. History and Government Regents, for example, New York students were 14 times more likely to get a 65 than one point lower.

If it passes, the ban would take effect as school districts implement the new evaluation systems, as early as the 2011-12 school year. Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Education, said the agency will provide guidance to schools on how to implement the rule. He declined to say whether teachers would be allowed to grade the tests from students in their building—or whether the tests would have to be graded by teachers outside the school entirely.

Mr. Dunn said the proposal was made because an independent advisory group of "nationally known experts," which advises the state on assessment issues, recommended that "educators not have a vested interest in the exams they score."

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