Here’s a surefire way to boost test scores in a hurry. Unenroll the students likely to perform poorly. (Schools could also lock potential low scorers in the closet during testing, but that might get noisy.)
What I don’t know from this story is how much time these kids had really missed. I don’t condone the manipulation, but I have to question the fairness of holding schools accountable for children whose parents don’t get them to school. I can understand why schools would want these chronically absent students out of the mix.
But this seems like an obvious trick – to remove kids from the school rolls and then put them back on after the testing period. And I guess it was since this DeKalb principal is now out of job.
Channel 2 Action News has learned that a DeKalb County principal resigned after admitting she tried to improve her school’s CRCT scores by unenrolling some students.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher learned that the incident took place as Rock Chapel Elementary in Lithonia prepared for last year’s CRCT exams. Belcher got his hands on a letter from interim DeKalb County Superintendent Ramona Tyson alerting the Professional Standards Commission of a possible violation of the state’s Code of Ethics for Educators by principal Angela Jennings. The commission investigates alleged misconduct by educators.
Belcher obtained a written statement that Jennings gave to DeKalb School investigators. Jennings wrote that she was “worried about the effect certain students would have on her school’s chance to make annual yearly progress, or AYP.”
“Before the CRCT, I sent a letter to the parents of 13 students advising that they would be withdrawn due to poor attendance, which would cause the school not to make AYP,” Jennings explained. Belcher thought it might be the first case of its kind, but Gary Walker of the state’s Professional Standards Commission said there are others.
He chuckled while thinking about a case of roster manipulation in another county. He said 86 students were withdrawn, and then reinstated.”In one day?” Belcher asked.”Yeah, they were withdrawn one day, and a day later they were reinstated. They were out one day,” he said.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog