The Bloomberg Administration proudly announced that the NYC high school graduation rates rose to 52% for the four year graduation rate and if you included summer school 56%. While this is an improvement over previous years, there is a more telling factor associated with the City statistics. The most telling factor was that 30.2% of the graduates received a local diploma, compared to Long Island's 9%! That means that almost 1 out of every 3 graduates could not meet the minimum requirements to get a dumbed-down Regents diploma. Tweed depended on some very questionable methods to increase the graduation rate. For example the New York Times article pointed out how the State was concerned with how the "Credit Recovery Program" was being used to push students through the system. I wrote about this program previously Here. Further, educational experts found this and other methods as a problem as well. Here is an what one of these experts on New York City Schools had to say.
An education professor at Brooklyn College, David Bloomfield, said the gains in graduation rates may be artificially inflated by principals trying to raise their figures, which are tied to prizes such as higher report card grades and salary bonuses.
Mr. Bloomfield named two practices that he called "gimmicks": local diplomas, which are being phased out by the state but now allow students to graduate with lower scores on Regents exams, and credit recovery programs, which allow students to earn credits from classes they failed by completing last-minute makeup work.
I read the Daily News Article on how Jamaica High School, a once proud institution being dismantled by DOE, increased their graduation rates by 10%! However, what was the Regents diploma increase? 10%?, 5%? less than 1%? In other words was the 10% increase in Jamaica's graduation rate real, or more gimmicks? It's hard to know because of the lack of transparency in the DOE statistics. Regardless of what the DOE statistics say. It is evident that with dumbed-down Regents, local diplomas, and administrative pressure to graduate "not ready for the adult world" student. The increase in high school graduation rates most be taken with suspicion.
I'm happy that the DOE claims that the graduation rate is rising, and maybe it is. However, to me it's just "smoke and mirrors".