Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What Does The 70% Graduation Rate Really Mean?




















With great fanfare and little scrutiny, the DOE reported that for the first time he City students reached the 70% graduation rate level.  If you read the newspapers that means the education reform that started with Michael Bloomberg and continues with Bill de Blasio is working.  However, let's dig deeper and see why the graduation rate is increasing every year?

First, lets look at the good.  The increased amount of transfer schools  that opened in the last decade for over aged and under credited students (must be 16 years old) was a real godsend and students that would have normally dropped out are  given a second chance to graduate.  These schools offer a tri-semester year, allowing students to get additional credits and graduate with a diploma rather than get a GED or no diploma at all.   I have been to these schools and while the majority of the students will stop coming and eventually drop out, a good  many of the remaining students accumulated real classroom credits and graduate.

Now the bad,  as many teachers will tell you, far too many students are being given credit for courses they had no business passing but do anyway.  For example despite the DOE claiming that starting in 2012 the credit recovery programs will be more rigorous and that seat time must be part of the credit recovery determination, the truth is far different.   Most schools require online courses (APEX) and the students can take the test as many times as necessary to pass the course or have a smart peer to take it for them.

Furthermore, since the school's "Quality Review" is a function of the graduation rate, reported violations, and student suspensions, the new breed of Principal (20% from the Leadership Academy) cares more about their statistics then real academic achievement and will pressure teachers to pass students by going over their class passing rate (scholarship)'.  Combine that with the greater percentage of untenured teachers being hired and who are unwilling to fail students because it would piss off the Principal, the result is an artificial improvement in the graduation rate.

Finally, the lax student discipline code means less reported violations and suspensions along with greater teacher accountability.  For example, if little Johnny fails his tests, is regularly late to class, does little or no homework, and does not complete assignments, the teacher must document everything and show the outreach he or she did.  If you can't prove you did this, you better pass Johnny or face the consequences.  Just read the Pissed Off blog and read about the massive remedial (no credit) courses these students take at her Community College and how many drop out.

Bill de Blasio and Carmen Farina may crow about the 70% graduation rate but we teachers in the trenches know better.

17 comments:

Rita Cat said...

So true. Thanks for mention.

billy said...

Breaking news. 2 teens shot, 1 killed right outside Thomas Jefferson HS in Brooklyn, safe place for a teacher to work.

Rita Cat said...

Heard a local Quuens high school had five fights and a knife today. Principal thought about rapid dismissal as a way to handle unrest. By sending everyone to street he can keep his record blemish free.

Anonymous said...

Teachers in schools like W.C. BRYANT HIGH SCHOOL are passing students who do not even come to class. They are afraid to speak up in fear to be rated ineffective.

Anonymous said...

The reality is that common core is a disaster, the danielson rubrics is a disaster, the turnarond model is a fiasco and the UFT is useless, the ATR pool is a dumping ground. For so long they had the wrong recipes that are harming our schools. Mulgrew should be voted out, and the Chancellor should be removed.

Anonymous said...

Chaz the DOE needs some bull crap also just like the charters. The charters claim their smoke and mirror stats and trot them all over the media. So, with that being said, lets give the DOE a fair shake here. After all, we can play the smoke and mirrors game also. This is what is going to happen when we have these "stupid" politicians shaking their 2 cents into everything we do as educators. Here you go Andy boy show eva and her cronies these numbers...Here you go daily news rag, share these stats with bloomberg. So, we will give the jerk offs what they want. Here's Johnny!

Philip Nobile said...

Where is Preet Bahara when we need him? Why hasn't Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon been indicted for official misconduct? I know of a Regents tampering case he covered up for then Superintendent Carmen Farina. Get this: Condon told the New York Times that there was no "credible evidence" of cheating without checking the most credible evidence--the actual exam booklets--that six teachers insisted were inflated. Three of them even confessed! NYSED's assessment office declared that the scores in the 60s went "beyond any dispersion, magnitude or directionality that is likely to be attributable to chance." Even Condon's DOE test expert said “to assess an allegation of grade tampering properly, rescoring is critical.” Still Condon did nothing ... except continue the brazen cover up.

This corruption reaches higher-ups in Albany, too. For example, Tina E. Sciocchetti, Executive Director of NYSED's laughable Test Security and Educator Integrity Office, knows all about Condon's audit avoidance, but refuses to intervene. Same for State Commissioner of Education Maryellen Elia who promised to look into the matter last summer but won't comment on what she found. Sad to say, Randi and Mulgrew have turned their backs on the teachers smeared in Condon's report and gave this crook a pass. Wonder what he has on them.



Anonymous said...

Remember people, diblasio is our friend and he is better to have than 99 percent of all other foe politicians...Who would you rather have bloomberg creep or maybe christine quinn.....lets all be on diblasio's corner just like he is in our corner. There are too many piece of shit politicians out there these days, cuomo,bloomberg, klein, rahm of chicago, scott walker and on and on so give diblas a break.

Anonymous said...


NOW WE KNOW HOW THE FRIEDRICHS CASE HAS GONE TO THE SUPREME COURT IN RECORD TIME...READ THIS TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE FRIEDRICHS PEOPLE OPERATED TO GET THE CASE TO GO TO THE SUPREME COURT IN A JIPPY.
Friedrichs tore through the legal system at high speed. But the real force propelling Friedrichs’ gallop through the courts was the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), the right-wing pro-bono law group that is representing teacher Rebecca Friedrichs and her fellow plaintiffs: At each stage in the legal process, CIR attorneys asked the courts to rule against their own clients, with the apparent interest of moving the case up to the Supreme Court as quickly as possible.

“It just seems really nefarious,” says Frank Deale, a professor at the CUNY School of Law. “In fact, it’s collusive, in a way. You’re setting up this false scenario, this false conflict, in order to get a Supreme Court ruling. The Center for Individual Rights didn’t even make an argument [in the lower-court filings]. They asked for the court to rule for the defendant, and then they got rewarded for it.”

Anonymous said...

1:20,
DeBozo, with Mulgrew's full cooperation, would dump all ATRs in the East River if he could, just because he can't doesn't make him our friend - Farina and Mulgrew have convinced him we are all crap.

Chaz said...

I agree with 5:51

With friends like Bill de Blasio, we don't need any other enemies. His selection of Carmen Farina as Chancellor is a disaster and she would fire all the ATRs if she could.

Notice how both the Mayor and Chancellor kept fair student funding which incentivizes principals to hire "newbie" teachers and discard veteran teachers?

Anonymous said...

Kids were violent because teachers did not align to the Core or inspire them to be college ready.

Anonymous said...

No one cares. Bottom line. Great to read all these posts day after day after day. It means nothing but it's a great way to vent. Nothing's changing. You cannot undo what was done by Bloomberg for 12 years. It's impossible. There's 7000 administrators. I'm in a small school on the Stevenson Canpus in the Bronx. We have less than 500 students but have 5 administrators, including principal. We have 2 AP's and 2 ATR AP's. There's nowhere to place these administrators. There's so many administrators floating around as well. They're all making 130K to do school aide jobs. It's a mess. Keep venting but you'll be writing for years and years and years. No one cares!

Anonymous said...

Wake up, Philip.
DOE bigs are beyond reproach.
They could hatchet babies, and with photographic evidence, and the media wouldn't care, Preet wouldn't care, NYSED wouldn't care.
No one's going to pay attention.

SPED4LYFE said...

The sham of the "56" grade; allowed by the annualization of classes, in high schools and the pressure put on teachers to give such sham grades so when the same teacher is pressured in June to give the student; who earned a sham grade in the fall, a 65 in the spring so the previous sham grade of "56" can magically turn into a 65 needs to be exposed. It is fraudulent and I am sure has added to the 70% grad rate. Susan Edelman where are you?!?! Another duplicitous scam of the Bloomberg administration needs to be exposed and blamed on "Red" Billy deB who's truly just as guilty for continuing the fraudulent film flam.

Anonymous said...

This was just released yesterday about the common core, it's all a sham
http://www.projectveritas.com/posts/news/hidden-cam-another-publishing-executive-caught-dishing-dirt-common-core

Anonymous said...

Everything is about money - Common Core, veteran teachers in the ATR pool, fair student funding, TFA, Tier 6, tenure, Fredrichs, and all of it. No metal detectors so a big reduction in school safety - that's next. DeBlasio is idealistic fool that is causing real harm for many city workers and families.