Thursday, July 01, 2010

Why The New York City High School Graduation Rates Are Phony When It Comes To A Quality Education.


Every year the DOE shows that a greater percentage of students are graduating high school. Last year it rose to 59%. Sounds good, right? But there is a catch. The rising graduation rates are phony and are influenced by educationally suspect "credit recovery programs", dumbed down State tests, dropout rates, and Principal pressure to improve the school report card. What we have is really "smoke and mirrors" as many of the high school graduates cannot effectively function in the workplace and the majority must take remedial courses at local community colleges. This is known as a graduation time bomb.

Just read the article about Tilden High School where 34% of the seniors are taking "credit recovery courses" to graduate. This will artificially pump up the closing school's expected graduation rate to 80% from last year's 39%, without the emphasis on "credit recovery courses". That means that the "credit recovery program" may lead to an astonishing 50% increase in the school's graduation rate. Will these graduates be ready to function at the next level? Can they fill out an employment application without help? How about college? What many of them are getting is an almost worthless diploma and a poor education. What about a quality education that the DOE claims it wants for every child? Not happening when the schools allow these educationally worthless "credit recovery courses" to replace real learning necessary for a student to reach the next level in their educational development

In a study done by the Annenberg Institute For School Reform it found that the NYC high school graduates were not prepared for college and lacked many skills for the workplace environment. In fact, CUNY found that only 7.5% of the high school students took the courses that the college recommends and that over 70% of the students needed remedial courses in junior college. Just reading the report is discouraging, to say the least.

What do I think of how the DOE calculates the New York City high school graduation rate? The same about how Abbott and Costello does math: Here.

DOE should concentrate on giving a student a quality education, not push them out unprepared for either the workplace or college world through these phony "credit recovery courses" as they are doing now. DOE's "children last" continues.

Update: The New York Post actually wrote an article about a student at Lafayette High School who received one of these phony diplomas and is a must read for you to understand how educationally worthless the diploma really is.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there any other way out of this mess besides more lying after doing so for 8 years?

Queens Teacher said...

Yes. Expose that lying lawyer masquerading as an educator for what he is. A public school destroyer so that he can open charter schools. Until he is removed from his post, he will continue to let local public schools deteriorate so that he can open a charter in its place. He's targeting a high school in Northeast Queens. Bayside High School.

Math Teacher said...

I taught remedial math for past 3 summers at Brooklyn College. This year I'm not teaching at Brooklyn College, because they wanted to raise their standards, and massive increase of students applying do to bad economy. Over the past 3 summers the class went from when I started teaching it with only 4-7 students who just graduated high school form NY city schools. Last summer it had 47 students in my class from NY city public who just graduated. The student need more remedial work and there not even getting into the senior colleges like Brooklyn College. They be Graduating But they are not ready for college at all.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the graduation rate success is the product of credit recovery, component retesting, teaching to the tests, and administrative manipulation. However, the fraud goes beyond that to the system of corporate malfeasance that Klein has instilled via Leadership Academy indoctrination. Bloomberg said it best, In God we Trust, everyone else bring data. So what do you expect? No doubt we shall read of cases of such manipulation in days to come.

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg knows there are to know about creating a virtual reality in which anything can be twisted and whitewashed to his liking.
Bloomberg LLP itself is a kindom of virtual reality.
Reality can and has been twisted into the virtual reality by combination of vast amount of public and private wealth, and govt. power.

Chaz said...

It is quite interesting how the media fails to dig into the bogus graduation rate. Then again, they are afraid of what they would be found and prove the critics right.

Anonymous said...

It's very hard to take seriously the complaints of teachers teaching remedial classes in one subject when their writing shows they need remedial help in another.

Chaz said...

Anon 9:41

Obviously you are not a teacher and I will not apologize for my writing skills. My writing skills may not be the best (I am a science teacher) but I get to the point in a clear and concise manner and that is what counts. Not if I cross all my "t"s and dot my "i"s.

If you have nothing good to say then I suggest you find another blog to comment on.

Philip Nobile said...

All this whining about credit recovery and grade manipulation fails to indict teachers for their collaboration. The UFT is a partner in the DOE's crimes. Both Randi and Mulgrew have ignored my repeated requests to address teacher cheating which is near universal in our schools. I hate to say it, but UFT is just as corrupt, and more hypocritical, than Klein and his numbercrunchers.

Anonymous said...

Chaz--
Your writing skills aside, it seemed obvious to me that the reference was to "Math Teacher," who specifically stated that he/she teaches remedial math (you made no such reference to teaching anything remedial). This math teacher seems so upset that college students can't do math to the level necessary for Brooklyn College, yet he or she might not be able to pass the writing test necessary to exempt him or her from remedial writing. Read that post again. And he or she is already a teacher. What does this say about his or her diploma--HS or college?

As for the "if you can't say anything good" business
. . . when did this blog become just like the BloomKlein administration, i.e., "if you don't agree with us, then go to hell." A blog should be a forum for ideas. I'm sorry to have to point out that the emperor is not wearing any clothes, but why a math teacher should get a free pass because his/her writing is not up to par is beyond me. Maybe all Brooklyn College students who are not going to major in math should be exempted from remedial math classes anyway, after all, who needs math if they're not going to major in it?

And for those who don't recognize that that previous sentence is meant as satire, I submit, that this is precisely the reason that all students should have minimal skills in the major areas: reading, writing, science, math, and history at least. Because college students should be knowledgeable in the basics of all the major areas.

Take the following math question: "What is 8 divided by a half?" Math and science teachers should know instantly that the answer is 16. If someone gave the answer "4," would you just chalk it up to a minor calculation error, or a gross misunderstanding of the way math works? What if the person who gave the answer of 4 was an English teacher? Is that better than if he is a science teacher? If so, why?

Believe me, I couldn't agree more with most of what is posted here about the UFT, BloomKlein, high-stakes testing, charter schools, etc. However, I'll end where it began: it's hard to take seriously the complaint that many students are unprepared for college in one area, when it is expressed in such a way that calls into question the skills in another.

Chaz said...

non: 1032

I see the error of my ways. I did think it was simply a knock on my writing skills and not about what is wrong with the system. After rereading the comments I see what you are getting at.

I still must say that Math teacher is correct and too many high school graduates are not ready for college work By the way,his writing skills do not appear to me to be a problem.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your last comment. I also agree with "Math Teacher" in his/her content, and I, too, am worried about how many students we are all sending on their way thinking they are ready for college, who will only too soon find out that they need remedial classes before they can even start their college studies. Finishing HS in four years is now very rare in many schools; it looks like that may be true of finishing college as well.

I am not trying to embarrass "Math Teacher" but let me simply point out some (not even all) of the more egregious errors, so you can see what I am talking about:

I taught remedial math for past 3 summers--missing the word "the"

massive increase of students applying do to bad economy--"do" should be spelled "due"

Over the past 3 summers the class went from when I started teaching it with only 4-7 students who just graduated high school form NY city schools.--incomplete sentence and spelling error (form)

The student need more remedial work and there not even getting into the senior colleges like Brooklyn College.--should be "the studentS" and "there" should be "they're" or "they are"

They be Graduating--do I even need to explain what is wrong with this?

Just as a math test with so many errors would indicate a need for some remedial work before being ready for college-level math, this paragraph would not pass a basic skills writing test.