State Education Department Commissioner John King Jr. announced today that he appointed Henry “Hank” Greenberg of the law firm Greenberg Traurig to review the agency’s processes for receiving, reviewing and investigating alleged improprieties on standardized tests. Greenburg, who was counsel for Gov. Andrew Cuomo when the governor was attorney general, will be doing the work pro bono.
“New York State administers more than five million s tudent exams every year,” King said in a statement. “The results of those tests help us determine how well students are learning, and how much more they need to learn. We cannot let those results be tainted by abuse and impropriety.
Greenberg, who has been named special investigator, will have “complete, unfettered” access to testing records, including those that detail alleged violations in testing and irregularities in the administration and scoring of the tests along with how the allegations were handled. After his review, Greenberg will report to the commissioner and Board of Regents after his review with recommendations on how to improve policies and procedures.
“Hank Greenberg brings the expertise, experience and skill necessary to make sure SED is handling every allegation effectively and efficiently. The overwhelming majority of educators in New York State are giving tests honestly. The actions of a few should not taint the reputation of the many. We know we can do a better job responding to these allegations,” King said.
The Education Department’s budget state budget proposal requests funding for “test integrity” measures, including erasure analysis and data forensics. Starting in the 2012-13 school year, teachers no longer will be able to grade their own students’ exams. The agency has implemented other measures to crack down on improprieties in testing.