Overshadowed by the threat of teacher layoffs, New York City public school principals faced a suite of challenges as the 2010-11 school year drew to a close: Budget dickering and back-room negotiations meant colossal delays in school budgets and deep uncertainty about faculty layoffs, hiring and teacher evaluations linked to tenure. Funds that prudent principals had saved for the proverbial "rainy day" were tapped by the Department of Education, leaving school coffers bare. Changes this year at the top in DOE's Tweed Courthouse headquarters meant that some schools were still waiting for chancellor-signed diplomas less than 24 hours before graduation. And concerns that Regents scored might be "scrubbed"—re-scored to push students over the magical 65 passing score—meant that tens of thousands of exams had to be reviewed and then were hand-scanned at schools and faxed to Albany for distant scoring, a process that consumed hours and increased potential errors in coding, transmission and communication—and that roundly contradicted the state's long-standing policy barring the scanning of Regents exams to protect their integrity.
Some great reporting.