Monday, September 14, 2009

Commish Talks Graduation Rate

This from Terry Holliday at Doc H's Blog:

While Numbers Are Important, Children Matter Most

...While I was impressed with the Kentucky graduation rate of more than 83 percent, I did learn that Kentucky had not yet reported the NCLB four-year graduation rate due to technical issues. We are scheduled to report this data with this year’s entering freshman class when that group graduates in 2013.

Upon digging into the data, I learned that Kentucky had more than 6,500 students drop out of school in the 2007-08 school year. These numbers reflect real children and reflect a real concern for the economic, social, moral and civil rights impact that high school dropouts will have on our Commonwealth...we cannot accept 6,500 students dropping out of school...

There are some that will focus on the numbers and debate the accuracy of those numbers. We do need to ensure we are reporting accurately; however, we need to focus on the children and what we as adults can do to help more children graduate from high school and be prepared for postsecondary work.

The biggest challenge to overcome is the excuse that some children cannot learn due to their economic and social conditions.


Anonymous said...

We all know the research that shows students begin dropping out of school in early elementary school. One of my grandkids had a first grade teacher this year who contributes to the dropout problem. She is a tenured teacher who displays every day she no longer loves kids, if she ever did. My grandkid said after a few days of school that she hated school this year after loving it last year. Thankfully, my daughter was able to transfer my grandkid to a different teacher after a week of school. But there are 25 other kids in that "mean" teachers classroom who are stuck with a tenured lemon. We all know that the teacher will help grow the dropout rate. There will be some kids who begin liking school less and less this year due to a mean tenured teacher who is permitted to remain teaching. If we want to address the dropout rate, change the tenure law. For the love of kids, get rid of poor and unloving teachers.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I hear the blame game every day. It's always the teachers who are heartless, uncaring, disconnected. Some have suggested taking away tenure; others have proposed looking at how the teacher's test scores look. Others have even proposed to let the parents decide who teaches and who does not.

I've never seen a profession more maligned, more denigrated. Because the profession is still highly femininized and because it lacks the right (in most states) to engage in collective bargaining, teachers will continue to take the rap. And teachers will continue to be blamed for the dropout rate and the lack of student performance.

I think blaming the teacher is the easy way out. It's almost the American way. However, I don't think it is quite that simple.

Anonymous said...

As a school principal I thought competition for our area students made us a better school. Upon arriving at my school I learned the district was running two bus loads of my school area kids to a magnet school. Our faculty and staff went about improving our program to attract those students back to their home school. Within two years the district no longer needed to run even one bus from our area to the magnet school. As our school improved I feel certain we also helped reduce the dropout rate when our students got to high school.

If competition does force schools to improve, why not have charter schools in Kentucky?