Sunday, September 16, 2007

dropouts, the WASL, and a number massage

Sure, 84% of seniors are on track to graduate, thanks to passing the WASL.

But what about students who are behind in credits, and thus don't show up in the official statistics? And what about dropouts?
Bergeson's office this year didn't count all the students it has counted in the past. For the first time, it looked only at seniors who've passed enough classes to be on track to graduate this June. That left out 5,457 members of the class who are considered juniors or sophomores because they're behind in credits.

When those 5,457 students are added back, the passage rate drops from 84 percent to an estimated 81 percent — leaving about 15,000 students who still need to pass reading or writing on the WASL, or an alternative. When dropouts are considered — which some argue they should be — nearly a third of the class of 2008 has either left school or has yet to pass WASL reading, writing or both.
I've noted this several times in the last few years: in our WASL frenzy, we're losing focus on the bigger picture. WASL progress hasn't led to progress in the state graduation rate. Slowly, the media is catching on.

1 comment:

The Science Goddess said...

Might not just be WASL. What about kids who have credits and pass WASL, but don't file their "Year Plus" plan or complete their senior project? There's a lot to track.