Students who’ve cut class, skipped homework and failed tests can use “credit recovery” programs to pass, reports the New York Times. But the rules for what it takes to earn credits are loose. New York state may step in to regulate the system.
At William H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School in Brooklyn, for instance, a nearly illiterate student racked up many of his credits through after-school remediation programs. He was promoted to 12th grade still unable to write full sentences or read a line of text, his teachers said.
At Mathematics, Science Research and Technology Magnet High School in Queens, several students were awarded credit last school year for clicking through questions on a computer screen until they got the right answer, teachers said.
Districts, judged in part by graduation rates, have a strong incentive to help failing students earn credits, stay in school and eventually collect a diploma. However, teachers complain students won’t work hard in class if they know it’s easy to make up the credit by filling out worksheets or doing a project.
I don’t see a way to keep the system honest except by giving an end-of-course test — written at the state level — to students who want credit for the course.