My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Beyond the Panic, Some Intelligent Questions 

The whole world is up in arms over the new report out today on high school graduation rates. Key findings of the study:

:Results show that graduation rates are considerably lower in the nation’s largest cities than they are in the average urban locale. Further, extreme disparities emerge in a number of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, where students served by suburban systems may be twice as likely as their urban peers to graduate from high school.

:Our analysis finds that graduating from high school in the America’s largest cities amounts, essentially, to a coin toss. Only about one-half (52 percent) of students in the principal school systems of the 50 largest cities complete high school with a diploma. That rate is well below the national graduation rate of 70 percent, and even falls short of the average for urban districts across the country (60 percent). Only six of these 50 principal districts reach or exceed the national average. In the most extreme cases (Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, and Indianapolis), fewer than 35 percent of students graduate with a diploma.

Expect to hear a great deal in the days and weeks to come about this "crisis", and a demand that politicians "do something about it," which usually translates into spending more government money on education.

The problem with that, as the Washinton Times so succintly points out, is this:

The cities of Detroit and Baltimore are among the worst in our nation (with 24.9 and 34.6 percent graduation rates, respectively). The irony is that these "urban" school districts receive some of the highest per-pupil funding in the country. Detroit receives $11,000 per pupil, while Baltimore gets $9,600. The national average is $8,700. New York state is the highest at $15,000.

. . . .in many urban schools, we can't graduate 75 percent. Action, accountability and standards are great concepts. Still unanswered is why schools that get the most money are still the worst performers? Who is held accountable for that?


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