Schools in the State of New York aren’t doing well when it comes to engendering college-ready students (note the spiffy use of graphs & tables dear students o’ mine?). The story linking to the spiffy graphics could, and has been, written about all over the country, including Florida, where our new New Mexico Education Secretary got most of her edu-street cred.
It’s interesting to note the tonal difference in the NYT piece, so unlike New Mexico stories in that it doesn’t simply start bashing everyone (lousy administrators, horrible teachers, even-more-horrible parents, lazy kids) and instead focuses on solutions and the complexity of those solutions (yes, including tying professionally tying teachers to test scores).
For example, there is a very strong tendency by everyone to focus on graduation rates, but notice the big disconnect between graduation rates and actual “college-readiness”. And it’s true that determining “college-readiness” is a bit vague at times, but it’s ain’t NEARLY as vague as determining what makes a “graduate”.
And then there are things like the “Honor Roll”. I cringe every nine weeks when my school has its “Honor Roll Assembly”. Massive numbers of kids make 3.5 and 4.0 G.P.A. and the Principal tells the noisy, disruptive mob in the gym stands that this means “we have a great school”.
Which is bad and logically deplorable…but then, invariably, I will hear a teacher tell another teacher, or a student, or me the same thing. We have a great school because the grades we give our students are so high.
I cringe even typing such illogically self-congratulatory bollocks. I also cringe at how hard it is for me to keep my “nice face” when hearing such bollocks from colleagues. Just playing, I guess, my part in maintaining the fictional narrative such “college-ready” stories easily deflate.