Sunday, October 11, 2009

7 Questions from Philip Nobile

When I asked for questions to ask Michael Mulgrew, I received 7 questions from Philip Nobile, whose name I am using with his permission. He has an interesting story---one which is increasingly common in the current DOE. His tale was told in the New York Times, and it should act as a cautionary tale for us all. You can read all about it here and here.

I think Mulgrew owes him an answer to his questions. I repost them below.

1 Do you trust Klein's numbers on rising test scores and graduation rates?
2 Do you agree with Diane Ravitch that state tests are "exemplars of inflation"?
3 Does the UFT have an ethical obligation to speak out re Klein's dubious statistical claims? If so, what is stopping you?
4 Is it UFT strategy to keep silent on the DOE's incredible claims and instead take credit for the increases in order to enhance contract negotiations?
5 Twenty-four of 27 UFT chapter leaders told me last spring that test tampering occurred at their schools. There are current cheating scandals in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Do you think that tampering by administrators and teachers a significant problem in the city system and a key factor in rising scores and grad rates?
6 The Chicago Teachers Union cooperated on a cheating survey with the Chicago Sun-Times. Would you support a similar survey of New York City teachers to determine the scope of cheating and the incentives involved (e.g., pressure from principals, bonuses, job retention, etc.)?
7 Would you support some type of blind grading to eliminate cheating?

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