The Learning Curve is a weekly column that answers questions about schools using plain language. Have a question about how your local schools work? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Diego Unified’s class of 2016 had a record high 91 percent graduation rate, while simultaneously meeting more rigorous requirements.
We spent much of the last year trying to understand how that happened. We found that the number does not include students who left district-managed schools for charter schools. The district used online courses to help kids catch up (and students told us they were easy to cheat).
We also heard from struggling students that the district had encouraged them to leave for charter schools. Hundreds of students left for charter schools during their high school years. We recently learned many of them had very poor grade point averages.
Now the district is highlighting a new report from the San Diego Education Research Alliance at UC San Diego. The district suggested that the report disproves much of our reporting. A district press release on the study said, “In addition to analyzing graduation rates and student performance, the report looked into allegations a local news outlet raised about the district’s graduation rate. Data analysis included in the report helps confirm the allegations are false.”
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
"........ students from the class of 2016had left district-managed schools for charter schools. Just recently, the president of the school board acknowledged students were sometimes encouraged to leave. .......
James Carville would say, with respect to the wonderful graduation rates: "It's the denominator, stupid."