Pearson’s Latest Embarrassment: 7000 NYC Kids Wrongly Blocked From Walking


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.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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4 Responses to Pearson’s Latest Embarrassment: 7000 NYC Kids Wrongly Blocked From Walking

  1. Bryan Bouton says:

    When I took a test for my certification in the state of Florida (at a Pearson testing center in Sarasota) I received an immediate score report for the computerized test. As an Apple Certified Training Center, PCHS has had several students take the FInal Cut Pro X end user test (provided on-line from Pearson) and receive their scores right after finishing including a breakdown of their performance in different categories of the test.
    One has to wonder why there is a need for “massaging” the data prior to releasing the test scores in Florida and other states…

  2. Planning 2 Learn says:

    😦 all I can think of reading your post is how our education system seems to be punitive at times with this accountability rather than encouraging or constructive. Ugh. I pray those children are not discouraged. I figure these may be children who struggle in school already so if they had tried, and worked hard, the last few weeks must of felt defeating.

    They are in my thoughts.

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