"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Push-Outs on the Rise Under Bloomberg-Klein

From the New York Times:

Almost six years after a lawsuit forced the city to pledge to keep better track of students who leave public schools without graduating, the number leaving high schools has continued to climb, according to a report to be released Thursday by the public advocate’s office.

The report raises questions about why more than 20 percent of students from the class of 2007 were discharged — the term for students who leave the school system without graduating — but 17.5 percent from the class of 2000 were. Much of the increase has come from students who are discharged in the ninth grade, which has gone up to 7.5 percent for the class of 2007, but was 3.8 percent in 2000.

Though students can be classified as discharged for a number of benign reasons, including a transfer to a private school or a move out of the city, the Education Department has been sued several times for pushing out students who are struggling and are unlikely to graduate, a practice that can help raise the school’s test-score averages and graduation rates.. . . .

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