Monday, June 6, 2011

Another "Miracle" Debunked: Jacobs, Vander Ark praise grad rate of school that loses 51% + of its students

You know the drill. Ed Deformers find ONE highly successful school that has the same demographics as most inner city schools and they start shouting from the rooftops: na, na, na, na - you see, stop making excuses about poverty - blah, blah, blah, blah! Remember that school that won the contest to have Obama make the commencement speech because it had the biggest change in grad rates? That change exactly matched the percentage of kids who disappeared between grades 9 and 12. Can't they even find one school in the entire nation to beat us over the heads with? I guess there are no miracles.

Jonathan Alter, now a lapdog for Bloomberg, had his underwear all twisted in a knot over Diane Ravitch pointing out these anomalies in a NY Times op ed.

The Reflective Educator has a very thoughtful open letter to Alter.

 TRE is a saint in trying to reach out to Alter, who is a warrior for the ed defomers. It would be like them trying to reach out to, well, me.

Here are some important links at Leonie's blog related to the Alter assault on Ravitch:

K. Webster on the undue influence of businessmen on our public schools

Douglas Massey on Diane Ravitch and Jonathan Alter's attack

In defense of Diane Ravitch (not that she needs it!)

and some humor from Gary

From Twittergate to Altergate

Here is another:

Great piece; great line: “teachers … understand that every time their kids take another test, some politician is either going to take credit for high scores or point fingers for lower ones.”

Thank You, Mr. Alter

Jonathan Alter's ill-conceived Bloomberg piece has triggered an avalanche of scathing public rebukes of the Duncan/Gates administration. Alter carries buckets of water for Duncan in the piece: “Diane Ravitch is in denial and she is insulting all of the hardworking teachers, principals and students all across the country who are proving her wrong every day,” [Duncan] said when I asked about Ravitch this week.
 Alter is part of the disconnected-from-public-education cadre of experts in public education, and like others before him, he basically repeats the company line about charter schools and blah blah blah. It's all so nauseating. I have yet to run into a single teacher who has read Ravitch and disagrees with her, except perhaps some ed-tech people, who worry that she's not in love enough with technology. Nobody's insulted by her, particularly urban teachers who understand that every time their kids take another test, some politician is either going to take credit for high scores or point fingers for lower ones.

Caroline Grannan, a parent activist in San Francisco who exposed KIPP attrition rates, sent this one along.

Joanne Jacobs' blog -- a post about a miracle school, my response pointing out its attrition, another post pointing out its low test scores (I don't know who that poster is).

Small school changes lives

June 5, 2011 By Joanne 3 Comments
Downtown College Prep changes lives, writes Tom Vander Ark after a visit to the San Jose charter high school. Most students come from Mexican immigrant families and enter ninth grade with fifth-grade reading and math skills.  All graduates in the class of 2011 will go on to  college, including Mount Holyoke, University of California at Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara and San Jose State. The school’s counselor helps graduates cope with college challenges, including transferring from community college to a four-year university.

Read all about it in Our School.
tim-10-ber says:
Wow! Joanne…do you know the stats on this year’s graduating class? How many entered the school in 9th grade, what actual grade level were they when entered, how many dropped out? Just curious…thank you.
Cal says:
They might be going to college, but they’re all going to remedial ed for a long, long time.
EAP Results
88% did not demonstrate readiness in English, and 94% didn’t demonstrate readiness in math–and the other 6% were only conditionally ready.
Their test scores are abysmal. But hey, they’ll be able to go to college and pay a ton for education they weren’t able to understand the first time. We’re supposed to celebrate this?
CarolineSF says:
The Downtown College Prep class of 2011 lost 51.8 of its students (in hard numbers) between enrollment in 9th grade and the beginning of senior year — publicly available information doesn’t show how many actually graduated.
67 seniors were enrolled at DCP in the 2010-11 school year.
The same class in junior year (09-10) had 83 students.
The same class in sophomore year (08-09) had 119 students.
The same class in freshman year (07-08) had 139 students.

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