Delaware data driven education comes with lies

by Kilroy 12/17/2011 Delaware 2010-2011 Dropout rate 3.7% but up for Black students

Last year 2010-2011 Delaware high school dropout rate was 3.7%

The last reported Graduation Rate was 2009-2010 and the graduation rate for Delaware was 86.7% 

Make note, the dropout rate is based on  the number of high school students who dropped out in a given year. The graduation rate is based on the number of students who completed high school in 4 years.

The United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan comes to Delaware and says this, “Delaware loses about 3,500 students each year who leave school without a high school diploma”. Last year 1142 Delaware high school students dropped-out. So who is lying? Delaware DOE or Arne Duncan? No one from DE DOE or the governor’s office took the time to correct Duncan’s statement.

Folks, the high school dropout data appears to be skewed as the method of tracking dropouts has changed year to year. 3.7% is a 30 year low and was reported before Race to The Top was really implemented. Think about it , though we all would like to see a 0% dropout rate but where’s the fire?

I guess the real concern is the big picture in the quality of education students receive. Also, we still have social promotion that is nothing but lying to children. Maybe Arne Duncan somehow factored in those students who were pushed through  via social promotion as dropouts.

Delaware has had the tell-tail data for 30 years and has done nothing to address social promotion. Its really sad that there are parents cheering for their children on high school graduation day that have no clue their child’s high school diploma is equivalent to a sixth-grade education. For many who go onto college find out the falsehood of their high school diploma that didn’t prepare them for college.

“Numbers helpful for the grownups and not for the kids”  re: Something you MUST hear via Delaware State Board of Ed recordings, by Kilroy 09/21/2011.

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5 Responses

  1. kilroy, tried to leave this comment this morning but for some reason was not able to sign in. . .

    Part of the discrepancy in rates (about 3%) is the fact that some of our most profound special needs students do not receive diplomas, but receive Certificates of Attendance when they leave high school.

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  2. Steve this is very sad news re: no “diploma” for special needs students.I use to bitch at Sokola about the “Distinguished Diploma” that was associated with those 3-tiered diplomas. I feel if a student exceeds IEP expectations they are distinguished. So pretty much if they meet the IEP objectives they should at least receive a “Diploma” upon graduation. Let’s just say we need to show more compassion for our special needs children and not cry over giving them a diploma diminishes the value of a high school diploma. No employer ask if applicant received a diploma or certificate and for our most severe special needs many won’t enter the workforce or at best have jobs where their handicap is obvious. HOWEVER, I do believe special ed students whom many have a 504 plan are included in the dropout equation. If Duncan citation of 3500 student each year leave high school without a diploma and meant to include those special ed students receiving certificate I would be outraged as a parent of a special needs student, His 3500 number is in the context of high school dropouts ( I would assume).

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  3. In a way it is worse than you think. What the vo-tech districts used to do back in the 1990s was to accept whole bunches of special ed kids, take the Federal money that came with them, and quietly slide them off the diploma track to the certificate track to protect their graduation rates.

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  4. Sucks !!!!!!!! It really pisses me off with this certificate and diploma crap. Regular ed students pushed through via social promotions receive a diploma whereas special ed students who meet the objective of their IEP receive a certificate. Its really bad that we need to respect the integrity of a diploma by treating special needs kids as second-class. Its not like many special ed graduates are going to game the workforce with a diploma over a certificate. I just wonder what goes through a parent’s mind of a special needs students when they are handed a certificate rather than a diploma? Do they know all along or are they surprised after graduation?

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  5. How did it happen? It had to happen at an IEP meeting, because the schools had to have a signature from the parents approving it. The parents were usually ambushed or misled into believing they had no choice but to sign.

    This is personal knowledge: we went through this with my eldest daughter at a school I will not name (although given the present I will say it was not a Red Clay school).

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