Sunday, August 24, 2014

Journal editors have it right; but don't expect an apology

I've argued for a long time that reliance on graduation rates as a measure of public schools success was delusional.  The editors of the Journal have agreed; link, though they never did get around to apologizing for their part in misleading interest and stakeholders by selling "graduation rates" as the measure to promote in the first place.

No scientist ever endorsed the use of graduation rates to measure anything except that graduation rates are easily manipulated enough to make people believe that things are getting better when they really aren't getting any better at all.

The editors concede;

 ... tests (and not graduation rates) would seem to be an important measure for both the student and the education system.
The editors wrote;
"If you think New Mexico’s public school system is just fine and doesn’t need sweeping reforms ..."
and some other stuff.

The thought that popped into my mind was;
If you think NM' public school system is just fine and doesn't need sweeping reforms then you have been paying too much attention to the Journal, mustlink, and the leadership of the APS. 

They've been singing their praise of Winston Brooks' administrative success primarily on the basis of the "fact" that "he raised graduation rates".

If there is a need for "sweeping reforms" then why did the Journal editors endorse Brad Winter as the interim APS Supt? Trust me, Brad Winter was not hired because of the sweeping reforms he proposed.

The people have been deliberately misled and believe that Albuquerque Public Schools are actually doing a better job of educating students than they are.

It really is all about, and only about
  • students passing tests and
  • the number of students who are able to pass those tests after 
  • some reasonable number of years in public schools.
If graduates cannot pass tests, it makes no difference how many of them we "graduate".
"... New Mexico (will) stay right where it always has been
– at or near the bottom of the education barrel."
for as long as we continue to place the future of public education in the hands of people who have no respect for the intellect, experience and expertise that is immediately available to them.  Intellect, experience and expertise that if utilized would truly reform education and for the good.

APS teachers and employees have between them nearly 100,000 years of teaching experience in Albuquerque Public Schools.

The smallest handful of them, the inner circle of the leadership of the APS, have seats at the table where decisions are made.  Decisions like;
OK, let's sell graduation rates as the measure of our
success because we can easily manipulate them upward.
The Journal and our credentialed media friends will back our play.

NOBODY talk about ACT and SAT test scores.

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