Monday, November 10, 2014
How Some Schools Manipulate The Graduation Rate.
During the Bloomberg era, high schools quickly realized that it was politically important for the administration to show improved graduation rates and in fact the graduation rates did improve. However, it had little to do with improved student academic achievement. The improved graduation rates were manipulated by the school administration by using tricks that hid the lack of real academic success. The schools used phony "credit recovery courses" that not only lacked rigor but gave out essentially free credits. Moreover, principals were known to pressure teachers to change failing grades to passing and if the teacher refused, they did it anyway. Finally, many students who had poor attendance records were deemed to have "dropped out" and were no longer included in the graduation rate.
Because of the abuses in the "credit recovery program" and scrutiny in the dropout rate, schools were unable to manipulate the graduation rate. But wait, the schools found a new method to increase their graduation rate and that is to encourage under credited students to transfer out to alternative schools and get them off their books. How common is it? Well the new Principal of Boys and Girls high school has already pushed 30 students out of his school and into into the transfer school in the building. With a student body of 729 students, that's 4% that will no longer be counted in the school's graduation rate. A Bronx Principal admitted that he removed 100 students in four months to improve the graduation rate because that is what Tweed wanted to see. How many other schools are doing this? I bet quite a few.
This is just another way of showing improved results when the reality is that there's no real academic achievement occurring at these schools.