Wednesday, the Daily News ran an article highlighting the 60 best high schools in NYC. Read close and don't be too happy even if your school is mentioned, or even if it is in the top half.
Baruch College Campus Magnet is school number 19. It boasts of a 99% graduation rate but only has a 47.1% college readiness index. The school shows 96% of their students go on to post high school programs but there is no indication of what percent of this 96% actually succeed. Francis Lewis High School just makes the cut off for the top half at number 30. It boasts of an 86% graduation rate but only has 38.5% of their graduates college ready. While 77% go on to some sort of post secondary education, you have to wonder how many spend years in remediation and how many others just never finish. No one bothers with these stats. Once the kids are out the door, the high schools are finished.
I taught high school for over 30 years. The school I started in had a low graduation rate, but the students who graduated and went on the college succeeded. They got a real education, passing when they deserved to pass and failing and repeating when they didn't. The school offered alternative programs and no one got a free ride. While many did not go on to college, they learned the importance of working for what they received. Things are not the same now. High school education has become a joke. Kids pass because teachers are afraid to fail them. There is credit recovery and after school programs where credits are given for showing up a few times.I've even heard of APs encouraging special education teachers to coach their students while taking exams and APs translating questions into native languages but actually doing a lot more than just translating.
I teach at a local community college. Last night, during an exam, boy from one of these schools came up to me and said, "Professor, I don't know how to do this problem. Can you just give me the answer." He wasn't kidding. A former teacher from his school told me I shouldn't have been surprised. That is what happened there. Colleagues were talking about remedial classes where students don't do homework, don't buy books and sleep or text constantly in class. These kids are what made the best high schools what they are. These kids are not going to be successful. The whole thing is a sham and our kids are the biggest losers.
If the Daily News and other media really care about investigative reporting, they should look closer into what the statistics they posted actually mean.