SCHOOLS FAIL ON DROPOUT RATES SKEWED REPORTING OF STATISTICS HURTING STUDENTS ACROSS U.S., SAYS REPORT.Byline: Naush Boghossian Staff Writer
School districts across the country - including those in California - inflate their high school graduation rates to the detriment of improving student performance, a study released Thursday said.
The report by The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization Nonprofit Organization
An association that is given tax-free status. Donations to a non-profit organization are often tax deductible as well.
Examples of non-profit organizations are charities, hospitals and schools. whose mission is to raise student achievement, criticized the methods used by states to calculate and report graduation rates, saying they lead to ``inaccurate'' and ``unreliable'' statistics.
``In far too many places, graduation rate numbers are inflated and they are really obscuring the dropout crisis A faction in the ongoing debate about the efficacy of U.S. public education claims that schools underreport the number of students who drop out before finishing high school. many schools are facing, particularly in regards to students of color not of the white race; - commonly meaning, esp. in the United States, of negro blood, pure or mixed.
See also: Color and low-income students,'' said Daria Hall, policy analyst with The Education Trust.
``Until we get more accurate information, we can't begin to truly address the problem. That's the only way we're going to accurately target improvement efforts and resources to those schools and districts that need it the most.''
California schools use the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics calculation: high school graduates and high school dropouts aggregated over a four-year period.
For example, in 2002-03, California reported a graduation rate of 87 percent, but the Urban Institute's Cumulative Promotion Index - another formula - reported 69 percent.
In the Los Angeles Unified School District The Los Angeles Unified School District (the "LAUSD") is the largest (in terms of number of students) public school system in California and the second-largest in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population. , just 39 percent of Latino students and 47 percent of African-American students graduate in four years, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Unified officials said that until they have more sophisticated methods of tracking students, any method of calculating graduation rates will be flawed.
``The formula takes a 'guesstimate' of the graduation rate, so in essence, it does allow for a margin of error. We acknowledge the methodology we currently use is flawed,'' said Esther Wong Esther Wong was born August 13, 1917 in Shanghai, China, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1949.
She was a punk rock and New Wave music promoter. She got started as the owner of "Madame Wong's" clubs, and when Polynesian bands weren't filling her restaurants, she decided to try , assistant superintendent of planning, assessment and research for the LAUSD LAUSD Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA) . ``Educators should be alert to this so students don't fall through the cracks as they progress through our schools.''
But local districts can take steps now to improve their calculations, such as tracking students who leave their schools, Hall said.
Generally, districts count as dropouts only those students who officially declare their intent to drop out, and not those who leave without formal notice.
``As we wait more and more, students are losing opportunities and policy-makers are losing time in which they could be garnering public support to make the investments necessary to improve high schools,'' Hall said.
Los Angeles Unified, the nation's second-largest district with 746,000 students, is already working on improvements that will reduce its high dropout (1) On magnetic media, a bit that has lost its strength due to a surface defect or recording malfunction. If the bit is in an audio or video file, it might be detected by the error correction circuitry and either corrected or not, but if not, it is often not noticed by the human rate, officials said.
District staff members are working on changes to increase personalized attention, counseling and monitoring of ninth-grade students and specialized training for their teachers. The LAUSD loses the bulk of its students between their freshman and sophomore years.
``However you want to compute it, our graduation rate is not high enough and our dropout rate is too high, and we have to address that,'' said Bob Collins, chief instructional officer for the LAUSD secondary schools.
Long-range plans include improving middle school programs, to ensure that by the time students get to the ninth grade, they are able to handle high school work.
Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722
LAUSD GRADUATION RATES DECLINE
SOURCE: California Department of Education The California Department of Education is a California agency that oversees public education. The Department oversees funding, testing, and holds local educational agencies accountable for student achievement.