May 3, 2006

New York high-stakes policy news

There's an unfolding story of Kennedy High School in the Bronx, where kids can graduate without taking required courses and where the principal got rid of 11 of his 15 counselors (several of whom objected to waiving graduation requirements). The allegation here is that the administrators fudged things to avoid the schools' placement on the state's list of low-performing schools. Unfortunately, it's not surprising that a few administrators would be caught responding unethically and illegally to high-stakes pressures. What is particularly unusual is the allegation of retaliation against counselors.

This prompts a thought: If a school receives flow-through Title I dollars and an administrator fudges data, can someone else start a qui tam (third-party) lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act?

In other news, New York state senator Kenneth LaValle conducted hearings this week on scoring errors in the SATs and said he is considering legislation that would tighten New York's regulations of college admissions tests. LaValle is the sponsor of the original New York Truth-in-Testing Law, which I think is the only regulatory statute on college admissions tests. "The industry cannot regulate itself," LaValle told reporters.

(These NY Times stories require registration, but they're not behind the subscriber wall.)

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Posted in Education policy on May 3, 2006 7:32 AM |