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    NY State test scores drop after teachers are barred from grading exams from their own schools

    From N.Y. Daily News by Kerry Burke, Ben Chapman and Stephen Rex Brown
    Scores on English Regents exams for high schoolers plummeted when the city cracked down on grade-fudging teachers, a Daily News analysis shows.

    Thousands of public school students failed the high-stakes state tests in 2013 after the city instituted new grading rules to prevent score inflation.

    A stunning 373 schools out of 490 saw their passing rates drop after new guidelines barred teachers from grading tests administered at their own school.

    Students must pass the test with a 65 or higher to graduate.

    Overall, the number of students who failed English exams jumped from 27% in 2012 to 35% in 2013, a statistical leap not reflected in the other nine Regents subjects. At 73 schools the passing rate plummeted by more than 20 percentage points.

    At Harlem Renaissance High School 69% of students passed English in 2012. In 2013, only 37% passed.

    “Teachers helped us out a little bit. They gave us credit for trying,” said senior Morrell Christian, 19, recalling the good old days. “If you needed extra points they gave them to you. That changed when they couldn't mark their own tests.”

    His classmate at Harlem Renaissance, Amanda Faye, was especially burned by the reform to grading policy. “They used to find a way to give you the extra points,” Faye, 17, said.

    She added that after the change, “A lot of kids lost out. At other schools they don’t know you and they don't care about you. I got a 64 (in 2013) and they wouldn't give me that extra point.”

    Educators admitted that grade inflation was rampant before the policy shift.

    “Teachers know their students. Sometimes a bad grade means the student giving you hell again next year, or him not getting a scholarship,” said one teacher at a Brooklyn school. “There's a form of empathy coming out. Like, ‘Oh my God, there has to be another point in there! Let's find it.’”

    The educators said the written response portions of English Regents create a unique opportunity for score inflation.

    “There's plenty of subjectivity and interpretation allowed in reading those things,” said a longtime Queens teacher.

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  2. #2
    Seems intuitive... but the HS I work at saw our regents scores sore when they were graded off site. We expected more than others did.

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