Sunday, July 22, 2012

MDE sticks it to the legislature

The Board of Education gave a big _____ you to the legislature Friday. The Associated Press's Jeff Amy reports:

"Mississippi school districts and high schools won't have to worry about whether this year's graduation rates will affect state ratings.

The state Board of Education voted 6-1 Friday to drop for one year the requirements that at least 80 percent of students must graduate for schools to earn the top "star" rating, or that at least 75 percent of students must graduate from schools for them to earn the second-highest rank of "high performing."

Under the state's new A-to-F grading system, star schools will get A ratings and high performing schools will get Bs.

Mississippi high schools have one of the nation's lowest graduation rates. One recent measure found that nearly 30 percent of high school students drop out...

The old system bumped high schools and districts down a ratings tier if they didn't meet graduation standards.

Last year, four of what were then 152 districts won star ratings and 28 were rated high performing. State officials said another 12 districts and 47 high schools were bumped out of one of those two tiers last year for failing to meet graduation standards. Officials were unable to produce a list of those districts and schools late Friday
...." Article

Make no mistake, this is nothing short of the Department of Education sticking a finger in the eye of the legislature. The legislature simplified the ratings system so it would be easier to understand the grades given to a school district. Under the new system, a school that only graduates 3/4 of its students will be considered "high performing" or "B". The ratings were Star, High Performing, Successful, Academic Watch, Low Performing, At Risk of Failing, and Failing. Very convoluted and a slew of labels that have the effect of allowing a really bad school to avoid being classified as "Failing". Obfuscation and a refusal to accept responsibility are all too often common traits in the public school lobby and this action by the board is no exception. This action will allow the state to give false ratings of Star and High Performing to districts that are not graduating even 80% of their students. Peace is war. 2+2=5. Freedom is slavery.

And you wonder why Mississippi is last in education?

Note: No comment from legislators in Desoto County.


Anonymous said...

The MDE should snap back to reality. My high school senior at a 5-star, 6A high school had to withdraw 3 weeks before the end of school due to failing all classes. After meeting with administration and teaching staff during the previous two years to address some teaching methods, no one really gave a damn.

Anonymous said...

More prison labor for state use coming down the pipe.

Shadowfax said...

Which, in your opinion is worse: 'False Ratings' or those administrations that huddle in July-groups to figure out a way to dick with the tests and pass those students who should be failed?

Schools forever have gone to great lengths to justify their existence and at the head of that parade is the reality that they will do whatever it takes to keep the doors open and the funds flowing - most notably passing those who fail and pushing them through the funnel of graduation for the sake of numbers.

Anonymous said...

10:57 - Hopefully you mean members of the MDE board and some top administrators.

Anonymous said...

hmmm....I think a school with only 20% of its students having an IQ of 100 or above that graduates 45% ought to get 6 stars and a high school with 90% of it students with average and above IQs that just graduate 80% ought to get no stars.

What I wanted to know as a parent was not just how many students were accepted at accredited universities, but what rating the universities gave the high schools.

There have been even private schools that inflated grades, and puffed up activities, got the kids into colleges at a high rate only to have them promptly fail due to poor preparation.

Anonymous said...

There have been even private schools that inflated grades, and puffed up activities, got the kids into colleges at a high rate only to have them promptly fail due to poor preparation.

Which ones? Name them.

Kingfish said...

Woodland Hills comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of Woodland Hills - did they shut their doors?

Anonymous said...

Always remember, because you sit in a position of authority, does not mean you are qualified to make the right decision or capable. There in is the problem with most of the leadership in this state. More important, never is covered the ill intent built into the establishment.

Anonymous said...

Woodland Hills closed about 13 or 14 years ago. I don't think that's valid for today.

Now, JA, that's another story. Several of their seniors fail their freshman year of college and come back home.

Shadowfax said...

I'm not familiar with the rating colleges assign to high schools (see 8:27's post). Can someone elaborate?

Anonymous said...

Some what off tpic but under agencies giving the finger a young friend of mine who works at Bureau of Revenue told me that all revenue employees got a raise. She went from $24K to $28K. Ithought we were broke.

Anonymous said...

2:44 The Banking Commission had a "salary realignment" as well, and some of their examiners got a raise. I think they were having a hard time keeping them.

Anonymous said...

My mother retired from the Rankin County School District 2 years ago. She probably would have taught a few more years, however, when her principal told her that she was "failing too many kids," that's when she decided it was time for her to go. My mother didn't "fail" anyone. They failed themselves by not doing their schoolwork, homework and not studying for tests. She taught ninth through twelfth grades and the last few years it was nothing but a daycare for teenagers. She became unable to actually "teach" the students, but rather had to focus her attention on who was sleeping in class, who had their cell phone out, who needed to go to the bathroom nineteen times during class due to a "medical condition," etc. etc. etc. And don't get her started on the lack of responsibility on the parents' part. Little Johnny has been making Ds and Fs all year, and at the end of the year when his parents figure out he's not going to pass the class, they come out of the woodwork wanting to know why he can't complete any "extra credit" to bring his grades up. I'm sorry, but if you haven't made above a 60 all year, "extra credit" isn't going to get you anywhere. Unless of course you're told by the principal that you have to pass him. the system is ridiculously broken. It is nothing but a money game at this point. And to ANON 10:31 - the reason the JA graduates are going to college and failing out their freshman year is probably from partying too hard - not the lack of preparation by the school. Just a guess...

bill said...

It's the job of the schools to expose the students to what they need to learn and to help them along the way in any way they can. It's the job of the parents to provide the student with a safe and warm place to study, food to eat and clothes to wear, and the motivation to make something of himself. It's the student's responsibility to prepare himself for whatever's waiting at the next level. Students who are products of struggling schools and poor parents can do just fine in college if they have the necessary discipline and desire. It's easy to blame parents and teachers, but it's the child's fault if he flunks out of college.

Anonymous said...

I thought schools were just for football?

KaptKangaroo said...

What a joke.

When are communities, whether they have kids in school or not, going to realize their communities are unsafe raising failures?

This is endemic nation-wide folks.

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