Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Credit Recovery Program And The High School Graduation Rate

Over the last few years the four year graduation rate has inched up from 43% to close to 50%. However, how valid is the 50% graduation rate? We all know how DOE has spun school statistics to the point that only the local media think they are valid. People in education understand that statistics coming out of the DOE needs to be very closely scrutinized before they can be accepted.

This brings up the "credit recovery program" and how it affects the high school graduation rate.
The "credit recovery program" allows seniors (mostly) to get credit for courses that they never bothered to show up to or did no work in so that they can graduate. The "credit recovery system" is an uneven program that ranges from a student just doing three essays, to online instruction, to intensive winter or spring break classes. The New York Times describes some of these "credit recovery programs" Here.

It appears nobody has a handle on how much the "credit recovery system" affects the high school graduation rate. Not the State of New York, not Joel Klein's DOE, and not Randi Weingarten's UFT. Is it 1% or 10%? Who knows? However, with principals feeling more and more pressure to improve their school's graduation rate, be it to keep their jobs or to increase their bonus, does lead one to wonder how abusive is this practice. How many students are getting a free ride to graduation without doing the proper course work? Furthermore, are we talking about one class or many classes? Are we speaking about a good student that needs some help or the lazy and misbehaving student that the school administrators want to push out? Again, no real answers. It appears each school can set up their own "credit recovery program" with little or no supervision about it's content. Granted, these seniors still must achieve a "55" on their Regents exams to obtain a local diploma (no the "55" is not a typo, that is the score it takes to get a local diploma). However, is it really right for these students who chose not to attend class or do no work to get this break? According to the DOE yes. If it helps the DOE's graduation rate, they are all for it. In Tweed the ends justify the means.

By the way Andrew Wolf had a very interesting editorial in the New York Sun about why student scores are flat. Here


Anonymous said...

Help me understand. As a teacher they evaluate my lesson for higher order thinking, then they have credit recovery for those who fail. Isn't this a little inconsistent.

Pissed Off said...

In my school, ninth and tenth graders are in this credit recovery program.

Chaz said...

Anon: Inconsistent? Of course it is. The goal is to graduate them at of the system by any means possible.

Pissed Off: That is why I said mostly seniors, some schools, like yours do it for all grade levels. What kind of message does that send to these students?

Anonymous said...

In addition to PM school and Saturday school and Summer school, credit recovery programs further diminish the importance and integrity of the regular school day and year.

17 (really 15) more years said...

It's no different from our 8th graders, one in particular who didn't do anything for the entire year, and now has a teacher assigned to help him make up everything he didn't do all year. What a fabulous message to send.

In the remote chance that some of these kids might actually go on to hold a job, how do they think their employer will handle this lack of work ethic?

Pissed Off said...

The principal's are getting bonuses for kids that earn at least 10 credits in a year. That is one incentive for this crazy program.

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