Well, the Graduation Report is out and the news doesn't look too great for the government schools. The national average is 70%. "When 30 percent of our 9th graders fail to finish high school with a diploma, we are dealing with a crisis that has frightening implications for our country’s future,” said EPE Research Center Director Christopher B. Swanson, who oversaw the development of the report.
Heck, in Hartford CT alone, where we dump huge sums of money into urban schools (at the great expense of suburban taxpayers), the graduation rate is a mere 29% .. Yes, you heard me right, it's a mere 29% .. pathetic is the word.
In Hartford, Superintendent of Schools Steven J. Adamowski and board members were ecstatic with the news.. because they long believed the reality was more grim than the figures the public school system typically reports to the state, except that they didn't have the data to back up their hunches. (Good thing they had Editorial Projects in Education Research Center do the real investigating for them).
Check this out:
For the 2005-06 school year, for example, Hartford reported an annual graduation rate of 89 percent to the state, using criteria that appear to meet state standards. But Adamowski, at the board's request, took his own approach and broke down the data differently. By Adamowski's calculation, 29 percent of the students who started together as freshmen made it to graduation in the 2005-06 school year; 10 percent dropped out; 27 percent remained enrolled but attended school only sporadically; and 34 percent transferred out of the district.Um... hello.. can't anyone see these kids obviously think the programs they have there are crap, which is why they are leaving to go to other programs that work for them?
The largest number of students who transferred "out of the district" actually transferred to the city's adult education program, which is not accredited as a high school program, so students can't use their diploma from the program to go to college. Adamowski showed the board data revealing that more students graduate from adult education than from any of the accredited high schools. "Our high schools may be pushing out the most challenging students or we may be providing an incentive for kids to go to the adult school because it's easier," Adamowski said.
Of course this good-horrible news allows them the best reasons why they need more resources to deal with this "crisis" - except their solutions are to make the kids stay in those horrible programs longer, and to tax the citizens of CT even more.
Hinted proposals to address this "crisis" is of course more funding, and increasing the school year by as much as a month - with one board member noting that European nations that outperform the United States have longer school years. Also under attack is the school calendar that starts the school year after Labor Day and gives students a week off before they take the all-important Connecticut Mastery Test.
Aren't you glad we now have all those expert "degreed" people working on $olving thi$ "cri$i$"?
Letter to the Courant: 12/30/06
Adult Education Diplomas Accepted
The new superintendent of the Hartford public school system is sadly mistaken. Adult education programs in Connecticut are accredited by the state [Connecticut section, Dec. 20, "Report: 29% Of Students Graduate"]. He is totally wrong when he says that adult education students cannot use their diplomas to go to college.
It is a legal state of Connecticut-approved diploma, and students from Middletown's adult education program have gone on to Southern Connecticut State University, Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, the University of Connecticut, Middlesex Community College and many out-of-state schools including the University of Southern Florida, Salve Regina University, Johnson State in Vermont, etc.
James Thomas Melley
The writer is a guidance counselor for the Middletown adult education program.