There was no confidentiality agreement to sign this year on day one of Regents marking so I guess I'm free to talk about the experience.
Two of my colleagues and I from Jamaica High School were sent to Cardozo High School this morning to be trained on how to grade the Global History and Geography or United States History and Government Regents Exams. Apparently, we don't know enough to figure out how to mark papers on our own and nobody at Jamaica can tell us how to do it even though our assistant principal had the training. Social studies teachers from all over were sent to a few central marking centers to grade.
The people at Cardozo High School were very nice and quite professional. I have no complaints with the treatment there. In fact, I was elated to see old friends who had been excessed from Jamaica and others who I hadn't seen in a long while.
After we spent much of the morning reviewing how to score, we were sent to computer rooms to take a tutorial on how to read exams that have been scanned into a computer. Thanks to somebody next to me I actually completed the lesson promptly. Then, we were sent back to our home schools for the afternoon.
We have to return to Cardozo from Monday to Thursday next week to grade all day. Now, here is a question for anybody who knows someone at Tweed: If the student test answers have been scanned on centralized computers, and we are using our DOE accounts to access them, why can't we stay in our own schools to grade them? We don't have the actual papers; we are scoring electronically. Our assistant principal could have told us how to grade and given us the computer tutorial. Believe it or not, even at Jamaica we have computers.
We could grade papers from students from all over the city, that have been scanned onto centralized DOE computers, just as easily from a computer at Jamaica as one from Cardozo. We logged in like we do any DOE function. If we were back in our home schools, we would also still be available if our students came in to ask questions concerning other matters or if administration needed us for an emergency.
Is Tweed afraid we might cheat if we were in our own schools marking papers where we can't even see the names? Maybe they are worried that we could play some music while grading. Administration at Jamaica could make sure we don't violate any rules.
If anyone has an answer, please tell us why we have to use computers at Cardozo instead of using computers in our home schools?
I want to repeat that I am not complaining about going to Cardozo. I will gladly spend most of next week there but it seems extremely inefficient. Consider this Mr. Bloomberg: How many gallons of gas were wasted with teachers driving back to their school today after the training?.