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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chicago Public School Teachers Pressured to Change Grades

The Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Sun-Times conducted a survey of 1200 Chicago Public School teachers in which 1 in 5 teachers say they felt pressure to change grades last year. Read about it at http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/1741991,CST-NWS-grades30.article because I'm not going to rewrite the article here.

This is just another reason out of a huge laundry list of reasons why the Chicago Public School system is the worst in the nation. In a city where it is customary for the media, politicians, and ignorant citizens to place unfair and unwarranted blame on CPS school teachers for underachieving students; this has got to be the most disheartening news I've come across. As a CPS student for the last two years of my high school career, I can say that teachers work extremely hard with little to no resources available to them and with little to no involvement from the students' parents. For teachers to have the little power that they have --the evaluation of students-- be taken away from them I find that very shameful and unacceptable. I can only imagine how demoralizing it is for the schoolteachers who otherwise have unquestionable integrity to be pressured to change grades by their principals or other administrators above them in order to continue to be able to meet their most basic obligations such as rent/mortgage, food, clothes, children, etc.

How dare the Chicago Public School system engage in such tactics as to artificially inflate the progress of their schools! Aren't CPS teachers under enough stress as it is, especially when they're already pressured to improve test scores or risk their school be closed and their jobs be taken away in the process? What does this look like to the scores of colleges across the nation who make the determination of whether or not to accept CPS students into their school? What metrics will the colleges have to evaluate their prospective students from the CPS when their students' grade could have been artificially inflated? Do these administrators have any idea of the disservice they're doing to the students by inflating their grades? Here's one disturbing incident where the principal of Robeson High School, Gerald Morrow is almost instructing teachers to inflate grades at Professional Development Day http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=36479

How are colleges and universities supposed to distinguish Chicago Public Schools from say, diploma mills who promise anyone with $99 that they'll mail you a high school diploma in less than two weeks?

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