Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Disconnect Between Graduation Rates And Being Academically Proficient.



























It appears that no matter who is Mayor, be it Michael Bloomberg or Bill de Blasio, they only care about the graduation rate and not whether these graduates were academically proficient to make it in higher education or the business world. To make matters worse, high school report cards are geared to two major metrics, credit accumulation and graduation rate, on the other hand, the "college and career readiness" metric is only supplied for informational reasons.  While the "college and career readiness" metric may not be the best metric to use to determine academic achievement, its the only metric that principals and schools cannot easily manipulate.  Moreover, this metric is closely correlated with the need for students to take no-credit remedial courses in college.

The primary importance is to make the general public and especially parents of students that their schools are succeeding academically, the main emphasis by school administrators is to improve the graduation rate by any means possible.That includes "credit recovery",  online programs, blended learning, scholarship requirements, and administrative pressure on teachers to pass otherwise failing students.  In other words, teachers that fail too many students will be subject to poor observations and in a worst-case scenario, termination under 3020-a.

Listed below you can see how disconnected it is between the City's graduation rates when compare to the school's "college ready"for most of the Queens high schools..

School...........................Graduation Rate.....College Ready

Rockaway Park.........................54%.....................2%
August Martin...........................42%.....................2%
QIRT........................................55%.....................7%
Fredrick Douglas Academy VI....45%.....................8% 
Science, Research, and Tech......65%....................12%
Humanities and Arts.................76%.....................13%
Rockaway Collegiate.................53%....................14% 
Martin Van Buren......................55%....................14%
Richmond Hill...........................55%....................16%
Law Enforcement.....................74%....................17%
Newtown.................................59%....................18%
John Adams.............................62%....................20%
Academy of Medical Tech..........64%....................20% 
Pathways College....................70%....................21%
Flushing..................................58%....................21%
Cambria Heights Academy.......73%....................22%
Long Island City.......................65% ...................23%
Excelsior Prep.........................75%....................24%
Grover Cleveland.....................63%....................27%
Writer's Academy....................76%....................27%
Hillside Arts & Letters..............81%....................28%
Queens Prep...........................76%....................28%
George Washington Carver......74%....................28%
Channel View..........................85%....................28%
Information & Technology........78%....................29%
Community Leadership............84%....................31%
Hillcrest.................................76%....................32%
Queens Vocational..................80%....................33% 
Queens HS of Teaching............91%....................34%
Middle College HS...................66%.....................35%
William Cullen Bryant..............68%....................35% 
John Bowne............................70%....................37%
Applied Communications.........82%....................38%
Arts And Business...................90%....................39% 
Robert H. Goodard...................92%....................41%
Queens Collegiate...................78%....................46%
Metropolitan HS......................92%....................47%
Robert F. Kennedy...................84%....................47%
Maspeth HS............................97%....................50%
Forest Hills.............................88%....................56%
Bayside..................................92%...................58%
Cardozo..................................91%...................64%
Civic Leadership......................87%...................66%
Francis Lewis..........................88%...................71%
Finance & Enterprise...............94%...................76%

What is most obvious is the high ratio between the graduation rate and the "college ready" metric.  For example Rockaway Park and August Martin have the highest ratio being 27 and 21 respectively.  While the lowest is Francis Lewis and the Academy of Finance and Enterprise  at 1.2.   The average ratio for all the schools listed is 2.45.   Meaning that for every five students who graduate, only two are prepared academically.  Intentionally left out of this study were the screened and selective schools who cherry pick  only the high achieving students ( ratios close to 1) as well as the international schools since they attract recent immigrants do not have the same demographics as most Queens schools.  Just looking at the data, schools that have a graduation rate to college ready ratio of less than 2 are the schools that have a high priority in real academic achievement while schools with ratios higher than 3 seem to be more interested in pushing out failing students by graduating them academically unprepared for the adult world.

In conclusion, good schools have low graduation to college ready rates, the closer to 1.0, the better the school is, while schools that have a ratio over 3 should be avoided at all costs.



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do they get the number for "college and career ready"?

Anonymous said...

What college are they ready for and for what classes? Many unaccredited colleges are taking them for their money. Some of these places graduate them as well, for the same reasons that the public high schools do, (grad rates). The students accumulate a lot of debt and graduate with little or no skills. The public school college advisors cater to those colleges.
In accredited colleges the vast majority of public school grads spend all their time and financial aid in remedial classes. I met one student at Lehman College who did three years of remedial classes. Then when she could take a for credit class, she had run out of financial aid.

Philip Nobile said...

How about all those perfectly bilingual Latino students who skate through Spanish courses, gaining guaranteed credits? Often these native Spanish-speaking kids have no other "foreign language" option. Too many high schools in Brooklyn where I rotate offer Spanish only. Mon dieu!

Anonymous said...

Do you mean to say that the Queens HS for Teaching on Commonwealth Blvd. (the one with two-way mirrors to spy on the teachers) has almost a 100% 4 yr. graduation rate but only 34% of the seniors are college ready? NO WAY! Interesting that the old Principal, Eric Contreras, was kicked upstairs to "write curriculum".

This shit can't be made up.

QHST tenured teacher

Anonymous said...

Check Jefferson FDNY in brooklyn. 70% plus grad rate, 3% college ready. Scam?

Anonymous said...

Philip....

Very few of our latino students speak proper spanish.....they speak spanglish (yes, I know, I'm a racist pig). That they are getting credit for a spanish class is like an american student getting credit for an english class.

True, true, true....

Guiermo

Anonymous said...

How bout these AP classes in high schools? Ah HAA ha HAAA haHaaaaaa!!!!!!! The colleges don't even take these AP classes for credits. We have over 100 seniors taking AP classes and none will get the "college credit" for them. The colleges don't want to help and go through the paperwork of actually awarding a kid who scores a 3 or higher. One former student told me he took 5 AP courses and did very well on 3 of them but his college didn't accept them. Same story for other kids too. So our schools are paying CollegeBoard to take the tests in the hundreds of thousands range over a couple of years with no returns! Funny stuff. Congrats to the CEO of that company. What a genius! More fake stuff.

Rita Cat said...

I sadly believe the college readiness percentiles are exaggerated to make the schools look good. Regents grades are falsely inflated. I've seen special education students with 70 IQs score 80 on regents exams which make them college ready on paper. Things are worse than ever in the community colleges.

Anonymous said...

There is opportunity in chaos. The DOE is more chaotic than ever. I am taking full advantage as the opportunities to make $$$ are endless. One example is how we keep reading that there are no more suspensions and how terrible this is. I see it the exact opposite. The opportunity is now there's a position after school that I accepted for in house suspension detention, some dumb name like that. Per session all year that never existed. This is just one example of many. There's so much opportunity in this chaotic system. It's a gold mine out here, people are just not seeing it, but I am.

Jonathan said...

"Just looking at the data, schools that have a graduation rate to college ready ratio of less than 2 are the schools that have a high priority in real academic achievement while schools with ratios higher than 3 seem to be more interested in pushing out failing students by graduating them academically unprepared for the adult world."

The system has pushed the stats, including the puffed up graduation rates. Your numbers do not represent schools' "high priority" or students' "high priority" or teachers' "high priority".

They represent physical and social geography:
11373
11411
11413
11417
11418
11427
11434
11691
11694

11101
11103
11361
11364
11365
11367
11373
11375

Jonathan

Chaz said...

Jonzthan:

However you want to look at the data, by zip code, economic factors, race, culture, or by the school choice issue. The data still shows a disconnect between academics and graduation and that is a major problem that nobody should be ignoring.

Jonathan said...

I agree. There are a significant number of kids today who graduate knowing less than kids who graduated a generation ago.

That's clear to all of us who have been around, whether there are "college ready" numbers or not.

But let's be careful to point the finger at the reformers - all of them, or pick your favorite of the day - and not the people stuck in the schools (teachers, admins, students). When you write "schools that have a priority in academic achievement" it makes me nervous that you've let language from the reformers' playbook sneak into your writing.

Jonathan

Chaz said...

Jonathan:

The deformer playbook is all about graduation rates and using education money for a political philosophy, Its not about academics.

I in no way agree with them.

Anonymous said...

At my school we tested new students coming into ninth grade, using tests to measure their Spanish language ability (they speak no English). Most students tests at 2nd grade level in their own language. One kid tested as high as grade 7, but most were grades 2 and 3.

How are we on earth ever going to make them 'college ready' when they are that far behind - in their own freaking language, forget about English and academic subjects taught in this country? Anyone really believe that 'differentiation' and 'scaffolding' will do the trick? Just more students we have to pretend are 'geniuses.' We'll pass them along because to 'hold them to standards' means we will be rated ineffective and lose our jobs.

Bill Gates? Arne Duncan? Is this how you run your areas of command?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, it was very informative. Please do Brooklyn next (I imagine the numbers would be scarier since Brooklyn has suffered more school closings than Queens). However, at the same time, Brooklyn only has a few large, comprehensive high schools remaining (excluding the selective Brooklyn Tech).

And to Philip Nobile, it seems to be the case that it's Bloomberg's new schools that only offer Spanish as a second language. You may be surprised to know that there are still a few traditional high schools in Brooklyn which offer a second language other than Spanish:

French, Chinese, Russian and Italian are offered at Murrow and John Dewey, while Latin is offered at Midwood. Coincidentally, those three are some of the few good high schools left in Brooklyn. Keep in mind, all had to bear the brunt of Bloomberg's closing fiasco; some more than others.