Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sources say...

Sources say that Tweed has won its battle with the NY State Education Dept., and the state will soon report graduation rates for NYC that are above 50% instead of below.

Remember last year the state reported 43.5% graduation rates for the city, while the city insisted they had achieved 58% --the highest rate in 20 years.

Why graduation rates should be a matter of negotiation at all rather than a result of careful objective analysis is something of a scandal in itself.

UPDATE: Readers may be interested in our earlier post on this topic where we cite sources for the discrepancy as well as perspectives of Governor Spitzer and the US Department of Ed.


NYC Educator said...

It certainly is. I'm amazed by the fact that, during the period in which they've had the very worst PR ever, they're somehow permitted to carry on with their policy. Last I read, it had to do with not counting those who'd dropped out as dropouts.

Daniel Millstone said...

How to lie with statistics all over again!

Do you know what statistical slight of hand Mr. Bloomberg has persuaded the State Ed. Dept. to buy into? Will the new figures get an asterisk?

Patrick Sullivan said...

We should take bets on what the press says when it comes out. My money is on a whitewash from the NY Times. Only good bet to call it straight is Patrick Arden in the Metro.

Leonie Haimson said...

No asterix. The buzz is that SED will allow NYC to count students who graduate in August following their fourth year of HS to be counted as four year grads, and also to count some GEDS as regular HS grades -- neither of which is considered kosher by the feds or any other independent agency.

Also, some of those "discharged" to GED or alternative programs can be excluded from the cohort of students who entered HS four years before, which also would significantly inflate the graduation rate.

Already, the state seems to have changed its own definition from the year before, and will allow exclusion of students who during their fourth year of HS were discharged to GED programs, and others now in the criminal justice system.

SED just recently cleaned up its own methods of calculating the graduation rate, under pressure from the feds -- but now seems to be backtracking, perhaps in order to show that its own sadly low four year rate has improved.

See Appendix C at

NYC Educator said...

Maybe Joel and Mike could come out with straw hats and canes and give us a little song and dance while they present the figures. If we can't be enlightened, we deserve at least to be entertained.

ed notes online said...

When calls are made to reform the system, in addition to a new form of governance, the way regents and the state ed comissioner of chosen needs to be looked at. Some form of elected system, though messy, would make people more accountable.