Sunday, April 11, 2010
Why The DOE Is Responsible For The Disconnect Between The Rising High School Graduation Rates And The Lack Of Academic Skills By The Graduates
Before Bloombeg and Klein took over the New York City Public School System, the high school graduation rates were lower but the students who did graduate knew if they worked hard they could legitimately attend college or join a job market where their education was a factor in being hired. However, along comes Bloomberg and Klein who have cheapened the high school diploma to the point employers find that many high school graduates have difficulty completing an employment application and that over 80% of the graduates who try college find they must take remedial courses because they were not educationally proficient for college work.
Why the disconnect between the improved graduation rate and the lack of readiness for the graduates in the business or college world? I believe you can trace this disconnect to at least three factors that have resulted in a student graduating high school without the necessary educational tools or skills to succeed in either the business or college environment.
First, one of the most common method to graduate students is for the Principal to change failing grades for seniors with and sometimes without the knowledge of the teacher. With principals given broad authority by the DOE to run a school as he or she pleases and with high school grades (maybe even bonuses) depending on the graduation rate, principals are tempted to improve their statistics. I wrote a post about this here and is a must read. Furthermore, principals have been accused of changing Regents grades and go unpunished since the investigative agencies have a different standard when investigating administrators. You can read it here as well.
Second, a significant rise in the "credit recovery program" for high school students during the Bloomberg/Klein Administration that are encouraged by the DOE and some of these "credit recovery programs" are as simple as writing a report over the vacation. Read here.
Finally, the single mindedness of Regents prep at the expense of a well rounded education is rapidly gaining favor in the high schools. Many high schools now put in Regents prep courses rather than giving students an option to take courses that could broaden their academic horizons. Is it little wonder that many of our graduates are deficient in academics despite graduating?
What ever happened to our mission to graduate well rounded boys and girls who would be a credit, not only to their family but the community as a whole? Now it seems that the DOE's mission is to get them out by any means necessary without giving them the proper tools and skills to succeed in the real world. Tweed's "children last" policy continues.