Thursday, June 8, 2017

NYC Educator: Career and College Ready

NYC Educator: Career and College Ready:

Career and College Ready


Queens City Councilman Rory Lancman is upset about college readiness rates in the city. He says that students graduate from high school at twice the rate of college readiness. And if you go strictly by the stats, he's absolutely right. If you read his argument, it's tough to find fault with it.

But if you look a little deeper, there is an issue, and that issue is how we define college readiness. The way we do it is via a combination of test grades. Here's a report from Reformy John King that likens college and career readiness to rating "proficient" on NAEP. Diane Ravitch argues that this is an absurd interpretation, the same one that the Reformy Waiting for Superman film used to berate public schools. Here's a more recent NY Regents report, full of Common Corey stuff.

Who determines who's college and career ready? Well, it's not really a who, but a what. It's based on test scores. Students who get so many points on this test and so many points on that are college and career ready. Students who get fewer points or fail this test are not. So if we want to make our students college and career ready, how can we do that?

It's pretty simple, actually. We test prep them. And as we all know, there's nothing more inspiring to teenagers than sitting around prepping for some test. That will certainly inspire them. They'll look forward to college and career, because they got to sit for hours in some classroom endlessly practicing exercises designed to show them how to pass one test.

Actually there are studies that show teacher grades are a better indication of college readiness. Unsurprisingly, students who do well with high school teachers tend to also do well with college teachers. Rory Lancman hasn't considered that, since he read somewhere that too many city students aren't college ready. In fact, a whole lot of people read articles like these and assume that students aren't college ready. And honestly, how many people follow closely enough to understand that college and career readiness are just a bunch of arbitrary test scores that some overpaid educrat dreamed up in some cozy office in Albany?

A problem with state exam scores is that they are wholly inconsistent and unreliable. One year it's the English Regents exam and the next it's NYC Educator: Career and College Ready:

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