CPS Teachers Pressured to Change Grades

"I am giving grades. Kids aren't earning them," teacher says

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    www.jupiterimages.com/unlimited

    Grade inflation is a big problem in the Chicago Public School system, a survey by the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Sun-Times reveals.

    Conducted over the summer, the report indicates that 20 percent of high school teachers in the system fell to pressure change student grades.

    "I am giving grades. Kids aren't earning them," math teacher Bonnie Kayser told the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Kayser told the newspaper that she was urged to assign make-up work, offer extra credit and stop giving zeros for missed assignments.

    Teachers said the pressure came from principals, angry parents and sometimes colleagues in order to help students graduate, get scholarship awards or get accepted to elite high schools.  Some teachers in the survey reported that grades they'd given were changed without their knowledge.

    "There’s definitely a sense of, 'We’ve gotta move these kids through.' Even though they’re not even close to grade level," english teacher Caitlin Ring told WBEZ in March.

    Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman said he takes the findings "very seriously" and said a new annual grade audit will prevent tampering.

    "We're still trying to get from them what that particular study looked like.  They said it's not scientific. So we need to understand the details of that to really be able to understand from their perspective how severe it is," Huberman said.

    Chicago Sun-Times:  Grade Change Survey Results