Recently, I read an editorial in the LA Times that I want to share with readers. It was a 2-part piece that caught my eye because it involves the recent increase in graduation rates at LAUSD that prompted me to do some research about the practice statewide.
We are being duped. According to the LA Times editorial on graduation rates in LAUSD, only the students in comprehensive high schools are being tracked and counted and used in calculating the graduation rate. This 2-part expose covers a couple of issues that we should be concerned about. One, the fact that many students are using Rapid Credit Recovery online programs to catch up in credits when they are deficient.
Secondly, and most troubling, the fact that the California Department of Education (CDE) is only requiring school districts to report students enrolled in what is known as “comprehensive high schools” for their graduation rate tracking. So, that’s a little misleading.
Students in continuation or non-traditional school and alternative schools are left uncounted. By and large, these are the students that have a higher propensity to dropout or get pushed out.
What becomes of them? Is there a cohort count somewhere for these students? What is the graduation rate for this cohort of students?
I think it’s an unacceptable new practice. This gives parents and community the illusion that kids are graduating at a higher rate than they actually are. It also reinforces the negative stereotype of the at-risk “invisible” student.
Thanks to these new guidelines, they truly are invisible. Shame on CDE for accepting this practice and shame on us, for not stopping it! Until they do, LAUSD would like you to pat them on the back for having an increased graduation rate of 77%. Which, by the way, is really still pretty pathetic.
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