Saturday, July 25, 2015

-------- HS Graduation requirements ----------------------- need a serious reality check

ONE SIZE does NOT fit all.

Students have a great diversity of needs and talents. Our job is to educate each child. Equality of opportunity should mean allowing each child to maximize their potential instead it appears bureaucrats are trying to produce equal outcomes. This process is destroying and will continue to destroy the equality of opportunity for many children.

Our "leaders" are locked into one size fits all thinking.  Consider current and coming WA State HS Graduation requirements with an eye toward the students in schools ranked in the lowest 5% of WA State's schools. The following Seattle schools are each ranked in the lowest 5% of schools listed in the state's 2014 academic index - the Washington Policy Center labels them " F- " )

(% Low Income) .. name .. [ % transitional bilingual]
four elementary schools
(82.2%) Emerson El. .. [ 25.8%]
(73.5%) Hawthorne …. [ 31.5%]
(77.3%) Highland Park .[ 27.0%] 
(90.6%) Martin L. King .[ 45.7%]

(66.7%) Madrona k-8 …….. [ 7.5%]

(81.2%) Rainier Beach HS . [ 22.2%]

(24.0%) Cascade Parent Partnership [ 1.1%]
(72.1%) Interagency Programs …….  [ 6.1%]
(00.8%) Private School Services …..  [ 0.4%]
(97.3%) Seattle World School ……..   [ 99.7%]

The above schools with a high percentage of low income students and a high percentage of transitional bilingual students are not performing well…(no surprise there) …..  " F- " for those schools.

But what about the students?
  It is way past time to end the belief that "All students" need to meet the "College and Career Ready" requirements.

The passage of HB 2214  "An Act Relating to increasing academic rigor and streamlining assessment requirements for high school students" states:

The legislature recognizes that, in today's competitive global economy, it is not enough for Washington's students to meet a minimum level of competency. Success in postsecondary education, gainful employment, and citizenship requires increased rigor and achievement. To that end, the state has recently adopted new, academically rigorous policies to better prepare students for future success. 

The legislature fails to recognize reality.

In WA State 25% of 8th graders score well below standard on the 8th grade Math MSP.  Make that 43% for Black 8th graders. American Indian/Alaska Native 51.2%.

Yet rather than put in place three different diplomas the legislature rides the Common Core State Standards - Smarter Balanced Consortium bus to "one-size-fits-all" oblivion.

What is needed are three different high school diplomas.

#1 General Diploma
#2 Academic Diploma (current diploma)
#3 Advanced Academic Diploma 

The obligation should be to present a program for each student in which each student is presented with the opportunity to maximize their learning and skills.  Apparently the State Board of Education and legislature have no plan to meet that obligation.

Now consider Mabton 8th graders

2013 - MSP Math 8th grade
Not Meeting Standard 80.6%
-- below standard … …. 24.1%
-- well below standard 56.4%

Mabton School District
100% Low Income Students
38.9% Transitional Bilingual
15% Migrant

1 comment:

dan dempsey said...

In most other countries High School Diplomas are NOT one-size-fits all.
So why does WA State do this?