Last school year, 1,381 seniors – more than 20 percent of San Diego Unified’s class of 2016 – took an online version of a course required for graduation. Roughly 92 percent of them passed.
It’s an impressive pass rate. And it was crucial for the class of 2016. That group ended up setting the highest graduation rate on record. They achieved that even as the first class to be subject to far more rigorous graduation requirements.
Researchers had predicted it would be impossible, in fact, for the class of 2016 to graduate at the rate they did.
But the academics hadn’t factored in the new online courses that would quickly allow students to catch up. Students aced them. The tool, though, has faced questions in other districts and San Diego officials could not tell us basic things about how much time students spent with the programs.
They were, though, crucial to the district achieving a milestone leaders have touted for many weeks.
Last May, San Diego Unified officials announced 92 percent of the class of 2016 was on track to graduate. To get there, they had to exclude thousands of students from the calculation. But for the rest, the numbers came as surprise, and not just because it would be the highest graduation rate on record.
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Oh come on now. Not even the NCAA does not believe this works.
The district doesn't care if the kids learn. They care for the final score.
Then these kids become somebody else's problem. They'll learn how to READ at the "University" of Phoenix
A revelation, too late, about a bridge too far. Even, I expected that there was something hidden going on about this miracle.
When students can take these online courses at home - how do you know they are not being helped or that someone else is actually answering the questions? I think if charter schools were showing great accomplishments based on this kind of online course the district would correctly be questioning that achievement.
And don't forget that with the "more rigorous" A-G graduation requirements SDUSD will accept a D grade for graduation even though UC/CSU colleges will not accept it.
The machinations of SDUSD to inflate the graduation rate are striking.
A big problem is social promotion, where kids are passed to the next grade when they have not mastered the work. I tutor high school kids every week that are trying to do algebra or geometry but are unable to deal with fractions or positive and negative numbers. They are set up to fail.
Online courses (blended or virtual) offer students multiple pathways - from credit recovery for students that have failed courses to first time classes which can provide courses not offered by the school or flexibility of learning (personalized, paced & flexible). Combined with online tutoring (certified bilingual tutors offering real time help) will also have a great impact. When every student has a device and internet connection - it's disruptive to the current 150 year old delivery system. Blended learning - levagaing the best of physical & virtual worlds will enhance education - it is only the "generational divide" that stands in the way.
@matt Spathas I'd agree. I'm having trouble finding an issue if the courses truly do pass an independent evaluation of rigor.
As a computer geek in my high school days (the 90's) I would have loved to have taken online courses, e.g. I would have loved to work quickly through math lessons that I picked up quickly rather than squirming in my seat for an hour in a classroom.
It would be bad if these if these courses are being used purely to game graduation metrics. Or if these opportunities are only available to low-achieving students, and don't also benefit high-achievers.
But nothing I've read so far gives any strong indication of either of those things. So far it's pretty far from being elevated to the level of "scandal" in my mind.
The district program does not meet minimum standards for NCAA athletic eligibility and the SDUSD claims it as a success. The school district leadership touts the program effectiveness as it undermines the integrity of the purchased academic programs.
The argument for achievement tests boils down to external accountability when a particular educational agency can not be trusted to uphold meaningful standards. Ultimately, external accountability is as important for the students as it is for the districts themselves.
Credit Recovery classes...I thought so...answer ten multiple choice questions, access to looking up answers on the Internet, and you don't have to read the history book..
How do these students do, when they enter college and have to read a book?
Shameful cheating of children, parents and taxpayers.
Mario, Any breakdown, by high school, as to how many students got credit, using credit recovery?
I have a hunch La Jolla High didn't use it as often as Hoover? Parents wouldn't put up with it.
Am I wrong?
I spoke with someone, who said that credit recovery is used, when a student has failed a class, to help them get credit and not take the entire class over.
Did these students follow that guideline or just get credit by taking this test?
Mario, You are doing great service to those of us, who want to keep our public employees accountable. It's hard to scale the stonewall that now exists at the central office, but you're doing a great job chipping away at it.
Now, about the shake-up in the budget/finance department...another qualified and competent employee fired, the CFO, for not signing off on an unbalanced budget?
@francesca I don't yet know how online recovery rates vary from school to school, but it's a good question. Although, on one hand it would make sense for Hoover, Lincoln and Crawford to have higher rates because they had a greater share of credit-deficient students.