Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Inside Credit Recovery Story

The city graduation rates has gone up because of credit recovery.  I know the real scoop. The story was told to me by a teacher I met at a UFT retirement class.  Here is her story.

Before I retired, I was in charge of the global portion of a program like this.  Morally, it bothered me but I knew if I didn't do it, someone else would.  And, my only responsibility was to assign questions and to check which kids did them.
 I tried to introduce accountability.  Originally, kids were supposed to come in and take a test when the questions were done.  When the administrators saw the huge number of students involved, this was given up on.  Originally, the kids were supposed to complete two sets of questions, 150 in each set.  I spent hours picking out a variety of questions that varied in degrees of difficulty and tested all the concepts of the course.  When the assignment was due, only a handful of kids completed the assignment.  It was then cut down to 75 questions and only one set had to be completed. The program was a joke.   I saw kids who could barely complete daily homework assigned credit recovery questions in 3 subjects.  I saw an AP doing credit recovery questions on a smart board with all the students in the class giving answers and one young man entering them in.  I heard about the AP who paid teachers per session money to complete assignments with some students. I asked a boy who I knew was not a particularly good student how he finished his assignment so quickly and so well.  He smiled and I then asked who did it for him.  He told me he paid an honor student to complete work.  When administration realized the deadline was approaching and there were still too many assignments incomplete, they opened a computer room after school where the kids could get help while completing the assignment.  There were afternoons no one showed up.  One afternoon, a teacher who was already teaching late afternoon classes to kids who had completed few credits toward graduation brought her entire class to the computer room to work on this assignment.  The kids were earning double credits for no work and no education.  Needless to say, very little got done that day either.
This school, along with others have kept their graduation rates up and kept their A ratings.  The hoax is on the children and parents in New York.


burntoutteacher said...

At my next-to-last school, I shared my room with a social studies teacher who "taught" some of the credit recovery classes before school, during lunch, after school, and twice during the school day. ALL he did was show vaguely historical films all day everyday. And the attendance taking was iffy -- a student had to sign in but was allowed to sign in if he arrived anytime up to five minutes before the bell to end the class. Kids would eat lunch, hang in the cafeteria, and then, with only 10 minutes left to the period, show up. Kids would arrive to the building and the classroom 15 minutes before first period and get credit for the entire 0 period. Students at the end of the day would sign in and then leave for practice or to meet with teachers or whatever excuse the student proffered to leave almost immediately. No tests. No homework. Not even any worksheets. Just "seat time" and even that was a farce. I am sure if this was happening in one department in one large high school, it was happening all over the City.

Anonymous said...

And....the online learning is run in the same manner. There are usually 10-12 units that the students have to complete. Each unit has approximately 5 mini-quizzes and one unit test. Students are told that if they complete 3 units they will pass.

We are no longer education children!