Massaging the Regents

Getting students to pass the Regents exam is “damn near everything,”, writes a Bronx high school teacher in New York Magazine‘s Workplace Confidential.

As teachers, we massage the tests to make sure if a kid is close to passing, he or she does. We don’t take a 30 and make it a 65, but we do our best to make that 62 a 65.

. . . This test is a requirement to pass high school and graduate. If the student doesn’t pass, the parent comes in screaming that he was a mere three points from passing. The principal hears it. Then we hear it. Then he ends up passing anyway. This is the norm. Seniors are the worst, because they feel so entitled that we have to cover our asses nineteen different ways to fail them. There have been stories of guidance counselors’ flat-out changing grades and passing ­seniors who should have failed but miraculously walked on graduation day.

Teachers are cogs in the system, the anonymous teacher writes.

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