Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Bloomberg & Wallcott Take Credit For the Bogus 61% Graduation Rate. However, The State Questions The Real Academic Achievement Of These Students.
The State published the New York City graduation rate for 2010 and found that it rose 2% to 61%. That;s the good news but there was bad news as well. The bad news? New York State voiced concern that only 21% of the high school graduates were "college & career ready". This very disappointing statistic of "college & career readiness" has shown little change since 2008. Furthermore, only 16.4% of New York City high school graduates achieved the academically coveted "Advanced Regents Diploma". Moreover, the racial/income academic achievement gap stayed stubbornly wide. While the rise in the New York City graduation rate was hailed by Mayor Bloomberg and his poodle Chancellor Dennis Walcott, the underlying statistics is of greater concern to the State and educators.
First, lets put the graduation rate in perspective. Principals are increasingly relying on the bogus "credit recovery programs" that make educational progress a sham and academic achievement laughable. The "credit recovery programs" have literally exploded in even the best high schools in the last year or two and in some schools result in a significant jump in the graduation rate. How significant? So far these statistics are unavailable as they are a closely held secret by the DOE as not to embarrass the schools or the principals. Privately, people who are in the know believe that it may average as much as 8% throughout the high schools. What is the real number? Ask Tweed, they probably know but don't expect them to publish it.
Second, anecdotal evidence from teachers suggest that the principals are now demanding up to a 80% passing rate from them or else. We all know what "or else" means. This pressure as well as teacher scrubbing to increase the Regents passing rate is cheapening the academic process and further diluting the quality of the high school diploma. The result is that students are graduating high school while being barely literate and cannot fill out a job application properly. Even the New York Post's Michael Goodwin dismissed the graduation rate as being useless with all the "malfeasance and cheating" associated with it.
Finally, any statistics that have the DOE imprint on it is highly suspect. "Fuzzy Math" is what I have called it but a Chapter Leader had a better analogy "the Enron Annual Report" with regard to the validity of data that comes out of Tweed. Unless the statistics are independently verified nobody should take them seriously.
While the graduation rate is suspect, the underlying lack of academic achievement is not. Back in 2008 a similar percentage of students were forced to take remedial courses as they were deemed not "college ready"when they entered college and nothing seemed to have changed since then. This shows that the New York City high schools have not prepared 80% of their graduates for college. What is worse is that only 16.4% of the high school graduates received an "advanced Regents Diploma" and that terrible percentage includes the many specialized high schools throughout the City where it is nearly 100%.
To me, real academic achievement is a rise in "Advanced Regents Diplomas", a narrowing of the income/racial student achievement gap, and students who no longer rely on "credit recovery programs" to graduate. That is what I consider real academic achievement.