Bogus Graduation Rates in Miami-Dade County (Public Schools)

shortlink: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=703

This is my letter to David Smiley, education “journalist” (I think these guys are “Mad Men” for MDCPS – paid copywriters who do nothing but write obfuscations that mislead the public about the real status of schools in the Miami-Dade County Public School System).

David just wrote this article “South Florida’s former ‘dropout factories’ churn out diplomas as graduation rates soar

First, let’s be clear:  Fraud is being perpetrated on the public.  Miami Dade College says Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ graduates have dropped in their college readiness by 18%.  Fully 72% of MDC incoming students are UNPREPARED for basic college courses this year.

Subject: bogus graduation rates

David:

Brian Peterson is correct in your article on graduation rates.  As he said “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Funny how no one talks to teachers.  If they did they would hear the truth:  the kids have not improved, they are performing lower in standards by the time they are seniors.  They have learned that test scores won’t keep them back, attendance wont keep them back, nor will GPA.  Each year the secrets are passed on – which teachers will change grades, will bend the rules, will help increase the schools graduation rates.

They have learned that the administrators NEED them to graduate and will do anything to keep their stats high.

As far as Carvallo’s rebuttal, as usual, he speaks cryptically where only someone familiar with policy and law could catch him.  The kids are not being transferred to Adult Ed Diploma programs – they are CO-ENROLLING in special “crash course” Adult Ed programs offered in May to allow Seniors with insufficient credits to make up credits that the state says should consist of 120/135 (block/standard schedule) hours of “bona fide” instruction by credentialed teachers.  These special courses are conferring full credit in day school by using MDCPS’ definition of night school credit – 68-78 hours of instruction.

Many times these students find themselves in this position because they have clowned their way through 4 years.  By the time they are seniors they have no reason to behave in class.  They skip, cause disruptions, are constantly on their phones.

When they are co-enrolled in these Adult Ed courses, they are often left in the class they are failing where they brag to the other students that they don’t need this teacher or his/her grade.

Often, virtual school is utilized to meet the credential requirement.  But as any insider knows, if the kids around you can’t help, if the google search ability has been turned off by savvy Librarians, there’s always outside help as this veiled tutoring ad suggests “HW and Test services are also available

The bottom line is that genuine dramatic increases/improvements in attendance data and graduation data would be paralleled by similar increases in skilled employ-ability and freshmen enrollment in for-credit college courses (increased college enrollment, decreased  remedial classes).

But that’s not happening.  A persistent observation is that increasingly, college students are unprepared.

The Herald  did an article in 2012:

The Herald noted “54 percent of students coming out of high school failed … placement test”

Here, they noted “72 percent of them need developmental, or remedial classes to get up to speed for college work.”

We’re not talking Harvard.  We’re talking 72 percent of Miami-Dade College students are unprepared, even though they possess a report card from MDCPS that says they are.

And, as the 1 year difference in time suggests, the problem is getting worse, not better.

The public is being lied to and as usual, the Herald and New Times are afraid to bite the advertising hand that feeds them.

But David, you and your editors, your management, are contributing to the downward spiral that is killing the literacy rate of Miami-Dade citizens.  You are shooting yourselves in the feet by protecting the fraud that is being perpetrated upon the tax payers of Florida and Miami-Dade County.

Our ability to read, to make informed decisions and think critically is plummeting.  Our ability to attract industry that uses educated human capital will remain depressed.  Our choices to generate income in M-D will remain waiting tables, changing hotel bath towels, and building more Lennar homes in the Everglades.

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  • readdoctor

    When teaching & learning is reduced to a game of numbers, we lose our moral foundation of public schools being temples of hope for our democracy and for our young. When we play the number game with our young they come to see education as a scam. Under NCLB, RTTT, and with CCSS all I see is a scam.

  • Lynn Atkinson

    I am still waiting on David Smiley’s phone call.