From the Huffington Post:
More than 7,000 New York City elementary and middle school students were wrongly banned from attending their graduation ceremonies after education officials mistakenly thought the students had failed state exams, the New York Post reports.
The city’s Department of Education had overestimated the number of failing students, but only caught their mistake after the graduation ceremonies had already taken place. The 7,034 students were notified last week — after they had taken just over a week of summer school and missed their graduations — that it was all a mistake. They were among 30,000 city students who were told they would be held back unless they went to summer school and passed another exam in August
Pearson, whom publishes Florida FCAT and end-of-course exams, told New Yorker’s in May that their tests were valid and reliable. The New York Post has more details of the snafu:
The city’s troubles with identifying failing students began after the state pushed back the date of its annual math and English exams two years ago — causing the release of scores to be delayed until after summer school starts.
The change forced the city to use preliminary scoring and rough estimates — rather than the actual results — to determine who didn’t pass the exams.
Critics say the inaccuracy of that method should have loosened the department’s strict policy that bars failing students from attending their graduation or stepping-up events.
What? They had to use “preliminary scoring and rough estimates?” Both Huff Po and the Post hold fire from Pearson but it was Pearson whom provided the data for their “valid and reliable” tests. Anti teacher and anti-public school mayor Mike Bloomberg deserves criticism as well as he created the city’s test-obsessed environment system in the first place. Despite Bill Gates’ caution, Bloomberg forced the release earlier this year of teacher rankings by test data
Already dealing with collapsing public confidence in Florida’s test-dominated accountability system, another large-scale test tragedy only makes it harder from policy-makers to defend it.