The city graduation rates has gone up because of credit recovery. I know the real scoop. The story was told to me by a teacher I met at a UFT retirement class. Here is her story.
Before I retired, I was in charge of the global portion of a program like this. Morally, it bothered me but I knew if I didn't do it, someone else would. And, my only responsibility was to assign questions and to check which kids did them.
I tried to introduce accountability. Originally, kids were supposed to come in and take a test when the questions were done. When the administrators saw the huge number of students involved, this was given up on. Originally, the kids were supposed to complete two sets of questions, 150 in each set. I spent hours picking out a variety of questions that varied in degrees of difficulty and tested all the concepts of the course. When the assignment was due, only a handful of kids completed the assignment. It was then cut down to 75 questions and only one set had to be completed. The program was a joke. I saw kids who could barely complete daily homework assigned credit recovery questions in 3 subjects. I saw an AP doing credit recovery questions on a smart board with all the students in the class giving answers and one young man entering them in. I heard about the AP who paid teachers per session money to complete assignments with some students. I asked a boy who I knew was not a particularly good student how he finished his assignment so quickly and so well. He smiled and I then asked who did it for him. He told me he paid an honor student to complete work. When administration realized the deadline was approaching and there were still too many assignments incomplete, they opened a computer room after school where the kids could get help while completing the assignment. There were afternoons no one showed up. One afternoon, a teacher who was already teaching late afternoon classes to kids who had completed few credits toward graduation brought her entire class to the computer room to work on this assignment. The kids were earning double credits for no work and no education. Needless to say, very little got done that day either.
This school, along with others have kept their graduation rates up and kept their A ratings. The hoax is on the children and parents in New York.