Yesterday the New York State Board of Regents voted on and passed a resolution that teachers will not be able to grade tests of their own students for state assessments or high school Regents examinations. With more and more emphasis being put on the scores of these tests and a new teacher and principal evaluation system set to go into play in the coming years, the Board of Regents felt this was a good way to keep the grading integrity of an exam high.
The Board of Regents also requested monies from the state for data collection to be sure that this helps with the current, and evidently highly anticipated future, problem.
First, I do not believe that teachers changing or grading a test differently to make themselves look better currently happens. I should restate that. I do not believe it happens in my area. It may happen in other areas of the state but I do not see it as an issue here. Second, in many school districts in my area, the tests are currently not graded by an individual teacher. Departments will gather and grade tests as a group. Multiple teachers will grade one essay. There are currently plenty of checks and balances to prevent teacher A from grading, or influencing the grade, of student B. Third, the Board of Regents asks for significant monies from the state. Unfortunately, none of this money will be seen by the local districts where any costs for this regulation will have to be born.
Basically, the Board of Regents has just passed an unfunded mandate for local school districts who, starting this year, are living with a 2% tax levy cap.