Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Next Big Thing: School Scandals - Tapco and PS 114 Lead the Way - For Now

The scandals are coming. School by school. So that one day the entire fallacy that BloomKlein stopped social promotion or raised the grad rate or are closing schools for educational reasons and not for the real estate will come apart at the seams. PS 114 in Canarsie is one story - see Linsey Christ's great work on NY1 in reporting on this scandal.

Tapco Redux
On Nov. 30, 2010 I posted a piece titled Another DOE Scam - TAPCO - Theatre Arts Production...":
Therse's been whole lot of traffic with lots of comments, particularly in the last few weeks, about grade scams and teacher harassment.  I guess finishing as the top ranked school gets some scrutiny. Check them out. Leonie Haimson left a request that people contact her. I did no censoring of the comments unless there was something real stupid though someone thought this was Leonie's blog based on her request.

Today there were stories in the press.
When report card grades were released in the fall for the city’s 455 high schools, the highest score went to a small school in a down-and-out section of the Bronx called Theater Arts Production Company School.
A stunning 94 percent of its seniors graduated, more than 30 points above the citywide average. The school, which has about 500 students from grades 6 through 12, achieved a nearly perfect score in the category of “student progress,” based partly on course credits earned by students.
“When I interviewed for the school,” said Sam Buchbinder, a history teacher, “it was made very clear: this is a school that doesn’t believe in anyone failing.”
That statement was not just an exhortation to excellence. It was school policy.- NY Times
The city's highest-rated school is being investigated for its "nonfailing policy" that makes it so easy for students to pass a class that kids say even a caveman could do it, The Post has learned.
The Department of Education is probing to see if the Theatre Arts Production Company HS in The Bronx attained its starred-ranking by fudging student grades.
"This week, my average is a 30; in three days I can bring it up to a 95," boasted one senior who didn't want his name published.
"The teachers will give you sheets that are already filled out, and you can just copy them. It's for the school so it doesn't look bad with failing grades."NY Post

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