NYS Regents Exam Grading: Unfair for Teachers and Students
For Immediate Release
This June marks the first attempt at centralizing the grading process for two exams; Global History and Geography and United States History and Government. Completed student exams were placed in a shipping box and sent to be scanned by McGraw-Hill. The scanned version of the exam is then presented to a teacher for grading over the Internet using software that has been developed by McGraw-Hill.
Teachers arrived to their grading centers Monday to face one issue after another. Many teachers were not able to log in due to a problem with the authentication server. Others were able to log in but not able to access a single exam item to grade. Some of the essays were so poorly scanned that half of the content was covered. Although the system listed many exams available to be graded, it simply did not present these exams to teachers’ screens for grading. After two hours of sitting around, teachers were sent back to their home school.
Tuesday continued to pose problems. The software continued to freeze, worked only sporadically, then at 1:00pm it ceased to work at all. Again teachers were told to return to their home school. Teachers are hard working professionals who should not be sent from one place to another, especially when the scoring centers and home school may over an hour away from each other by public transportation. All while students await test scores to know if they are allowed to attend graduation.
A Brooklyn Social Studies teacher says, “The greatest travesty is the money being wasted, that could be going to our kids, is instead lining the pockets of private corporations. Bloomberg knew exactly what he was doing when he put the DOE in Tweed: the last ten years have been nothing more than an all out offensive to siphon as much money and resources as they could out of our public schools and into the hands of these corporations and wealthy individuals.”
The entire process was so poorly organized and shamefully inefficient. It needlessly created delays and unnecessary errors. This will inevitably require that personnel be hired and more money will be spent to grade these tests to make up for the wasted time. Teachers have always graded these tests with accuracy, diligence and in a timely fashion. McGraw-Hill was paid millions of dollars to set up a defective system. The mayor is guilty of wasting tax-payers’ dollars, that could be better utilized by reducing class-size, restoring after-school programs that were cut due to austerity measures, and giving educators the contract they deserve!