June 30, 2006

NYC graduation rates

In today's NY Times story on school graduation rates by David Herszenhorn, there's an important tidbit: the schools hired a firm to audit records. I didn't know of that when I wrote that as one recommendation for Florida's graduation-rate calculation, but I'm delighted to hear it now. A preventive step to ensure the accuracy of school records? Who woulda thunk it? I'll be curious to see what the actual audit process was.

It's unfortunate that the chancellor's office chose to release the rates selectively, just for 15 small schools (part of the city's small-school initiative). I'm happy that graduation is up at those schools, but it would be a smarter, more credible move to release all of the school stats on the same day, so it looks less like cherry-picking the results. It'll be a few more years before we know whether the small-schools initiative is really an improvement or is too much of "big schools in drag," a phrase I've read attributed to Michelle Fine in Washington Post, Philadelphia Public School Notebook, and InsideSchools.org articles on small schools.

Listen to this article
Posted in Research on June 30, 2006 7:03 AM |