Monday, July 28, 2014

Martinez claims credit for graduation rate growth - highest in the nation

Gov Martinez, PED Sec Hanna Skandera
Governor Susana Martinez has a new campaign ad up.

In it, she claims New Mexico is first in the nation in the growth of graduation rates.  She and hers would like to be given credit for it.

I asked PED Sec Hanna Skandera, why we use gradation rates to measure public school performance despite the fact that they are the least accurate of recognized indicators.  I'd like to see her take another shot at an answer.  I'd like to see them all answer that question.

I would like to know why the establishment's media has bought in hook line and sinker to the graduation rate dodge.  Why are they not pointing out the difference between graduation rates and every other indicator of public school's success?

Graduation rates are a statistical outlier in measuring public school success.  The use of graduation rate growth to imply substantially greater success in educating children, is fundamentally dishonest.

The rise from utterly acceptable to completely unacceptable in terms of graduation rates, no matter how meteoric, is insignificant.  It is a red herring to draw attention off the trail to every other indicator of public school success; all of which are essentially static or in decline.

To the extent graduation rate growth means anything at all, rates are so unacceptably low to begin with that even supposedly substantial growth doesn't get you where you want to be - not unlike jumping to get closer to the sun.  You can jump twice as high the second time you jump as you did the first time; you can double your performance in one jump, but you're still not really any closer.

People who point to increasing graduation rates like they mean something, in the face of contradiction by every other meaningful indicator of public school success, are those people who have an interest in having people believe something that simply isn't true.  They are the people interested in manipulating public opinion to suit their own interests.

photo Mark Bralley

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