On top of all its other failures this year, the city Department of Education is insisting on rules for COVID-19 testing that infuriate many parents.
The DOE insists on doing its own random tests — ones done by outside MDs won’t count. And parents of even small kids aren’t allowed in the room for the exam — though it might calm children, who are at some risk from the deep nasal swab. If the family balks, the DOE will move the child to all-remote learning.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Richard Carranza’s intrepid crew has yet to figure out what the grading standards will be this year. (Bet on a largely “pass-fail” system like that of the spring, which will effectively mean “pass-pass.”)
Nor have they figured out a timeline for Gifted & Talented tests, and many fear Carranza will cancel the elite-high-school entry exams (which he opposes on principle).
Also up in the air is when, or if, the city will resume in-person federally mandated math and English exams for students in grades 3 to 8. The spring tests were canceled due to the pandemic, but state and federal education officials don’t want to skip another year.
As US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos notes, the assessments are vital to ensuring that vulnerable students don’t fall behind. But Carranza tends to think that standards are racist, and low scores mean trouble for all the adult stakeholders in the system — so don’t be surprised if the DOE doesn’t manage to get this done, either.
Carranza & Co.’s bumbling in the spring was horrific: They didn’t close schools soon enough, kept paying school-bus companies for months after the buses were grounded and didn’t even require that teachers actually teach during the unprecedented universal remote-learning.
They can’t even cite surprise as a reason for their latest failures — they had all summer to consider the likely problems of the fall, but didn’t.
It’s a remarkable showing by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s chosen school-leadership team: They’ve lost the trust of everyone from The Post to the United Federation of Teachers.
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