New York’s State Education Department is a joke, but parents and advocates for academic excellence aren’t laughing at SED’s latest salvo against transparency and accountability.
For the second year in a row, SED is delaying the release of student results on statewide math and English exams — tests that kids grades 3-8 took this past spring.
And these are easy-to-score multiple-choice exams: SED should’ve had the results within weeks.
In years past, it shared the results with parents and schools over the summer, or at least before Labor Day and the traditional opening of public schools.
SED is keeping parents and school leaders in the dark, for no conceivable good reason.
Last year, it released the scores eight weeks into the new school term — and only after the Empire Center sued to demand it.
In the city, less than half of Gotham’s public school kids were proficient in language arts and math. It was worse for Black and Hispanic students.
Under the leadership of Education Commissioner Betty Rosa, SED and the Board of Regents are waging a convert war on testing and on the student achievement that standardized exams enable.
Back in March, SED announced it was adjusting the scoring criteria on grades 3-8 assessments to better reflect the “new normal” in student achievement.
In years past, SED shared the results with parents and schools over the summer, or at least before Labor Day and the tradition opening of public schools.
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock
That is, it’s lowering the bar for students in grades 3-8 to reach proficiency on state math and reading tests — using last year’s lower scores as a new baseline to set expectations: disastrous post-pandemic results become the “new normal.”
What a dastardly way to cover up the loss of learning thanks to prolonged school closures and farcical “remote learning.”
Public-school spending in New York has soared to a record high despite falling pupil performance on such exams.
And don’t ask what happened to the $9 billion the feds handed Empire State schools in President Joe Biden’s “American Rescue Plan.”
Far from calling out this massive waste and failure, Rosa & Co. are in on it.
Worse: You can expect SED to demand billions more in added state school aid next year.
And that’s no joke — or, rather, it’s a sick one, on both the taxpayers and the kids.