The good news: Lindsay Lohan did not graduate from a NYC high school.
The bad news: Klein and the folks at Tweed dissemble … prevaricate … let’s be honest: they lie!!!
Schools and school systems are measured by a range of metrics: the major indicators are State Education Department (SED) English and Mathematics test scores in grades 3-8. High schools are measured by graduation rates and the SED defines the formula that determines rates.
The SED English (ELA) test scores have just been released and the Department lauds itself on dramatic growth …
SED High School graduations rates were also released and the Department proudly announced a 60% graduation rate. But, wait a minute, didn’t the SED press release announce NYC High School graduation rate as 50%?
The current inhabitants of the Tweed Courthouse seems to have been infected with the same illness of their namesake. They lie, cheat and steal. They cheat and steal from the children in the New York City school system.
There are several general approaches to improving pupil achievement: you can introduce programs that are nationally recognized as being “successful” programs, work closely with stakeholders, namely teachers and parents, and create a transparent system driven by the needs of kids, or, you can cheat.
If you don’t like certain bits of data, don’t use the data … measure what you want to measure that produces the results you want to reach.
English Language Learners (ELL) will lower scores: don’t count them.
Special Education kids have very low graduation rates: don’t count them.
Bush spins out rosy press releases about “progress” in Iraq, Pete Rose bets on baseball, heroes become steroid junkies, and Klein and company jump on the bandwagon: “rosy” Iraq-like press releases, drug hazed views of “success,” and the kids … just widgets.
The just released National Center for Educational Statistics report should be a model for assessing NYC schools.
* How many kids are in Advanced Placement courses? How many take the AP Exam? How many received grades of 3 or higher?
* How many kids take and pass the Chemistry Regents? What are the range of grades?
* How many kids take the Physics Regents? What are the range of grades?
* How many kids take and pass advanced Math courses?
Let’s take the above data and disaggregate by NCLB categories, large school/small school, and while we’re at it Empowerment versus all others.
I hope our schools are doing better … but … until we know how do we know were to drive dollars? What are some school doing that achieves success? There are high achieving and low achieving Title 1 schools, there are high achieving and low achieving high salary schools? Do specific programs work better than others?
ARIS is collecting data – creating a user friendly treasure trove of student data. Do we trust the Department to analyze the data? Clearly: the answer is no!
Increasingly commenters on NYC schools are asking for some reputable outside organization to analyze New York City student achievement data.
Unfortunately I fear we’ll have to wait until Tweed is fumigated.