The UNM Center for Education Policy Research has compiled a 130 page document, link, entitled, Mapping the Landscape of Educational Outcomes in Albuquerque.
The document begins with a declaration of their intent; "... to support the conversations that will make this city an even better place to live." The conversations that make communities better are dependent on a number of things, not the least of which are data; complete and accurate. Their intention then, was to provide data, and to provide it in an easy to understand format. They produced a hundred or more different maps and charts to display the data graphically.
Charter schools were not included. Instead, they offered a promise to include that data "at a future time".
By page three, the authors have moved to Our Most Important Messages. First among them;
"We thank Albuquerque Public Schools for the courage to share these data"APS courageously shared data on; "... daunting inequalities including disparities in economic, health, and social support; and academic achievement and attainment".
The researchers used that data to determine how students are put "at risk" of failure in their effort to graduate from APS with a useful skill set. The data shows that risk factors accumulate in different areas of the city, and accumulate at different times developmentally.
According to researchers; there are no schools without risk factors;
"... students are at risk in some way, in every school and in every neighborhood in Albuquerque."In their examination of risk factors, the researchers conceded;
These maps and charts include only some of the important data that impact student success.Those in the know, know that a primary impact on student success is discipline, their own and their class and schoolmates. I went looking for the data on student discipline. Three pages qualified, if only marginally. Two offered data on the percentage of students who were bullied at school, middle and high, and a third page on the percentage of students who reported having been in a fist fight at school.
Other than that, nothing.
One page offered the "Primary 'Off-Track' Indicators for Potential Dropouts". They include attendance, behavior, and academic performance. Behavior, they write, is significant if a student has received an “unsatisfactory” behavior mark in at least one class.
In my experience, middle and high school and a decade old,
is there is no such thing as a "behavior mark" unsatisfactory or otherwise. There is no longer, a citizenship grade. If students were graded on behavior, I suspect the results would correlate powerfully with other risk factors. They would also document an administrative and executive failure to control disruptive students.
Years ago, APS and UNM teamed up at times, to survey teachers to gather their input on what's wrong. They no longer do. When they did, one of the questions allowed teachers to estimate the negative effect on teaching, of disruptive students. Teachers reported that it was a significant issue.
One year, the question disappeared from the survey. I asked why? I was told; "because the data never changed."
The leadership of the APS, the board and administration, is hiding data on student discipline, link.
Kent Walz and the Journal,
are hiding the hiding.
photo Mark Bralley