One: Not Encouraging.
This week, Ohio’s School Board was entertained with a presentation from the Ohio Department of Education, seemingly meant to diminish any lingering concern regarding the Graduation Crisis, in which they illustrated the “encouraging” news that 77% of Ohio’s seniors (according to their estimates) are on track to graduate - encouraging despite only 50% of urban very high poverty students being “on track,” despite the fact that this year’s juniors, the class of 2019, are in essentially the same place as their predecessors in their assessment related progress to graduation.
Two: Legislate for All Students.
Because the poor, with terribly immediate issues with which to deal (like multiple jobs, food insecurity, subsequent health issues, lack of transportation) are less likely to have enough time to devote to simply understand the convoluted Graduation Requirement, or apply political pressure, or voice their concerns to the media, the O.D.E., State Superintendent, and legislators seem to believe that they can create policy that exacerbates the systemic inequality prevalent in our society, as the shameless spinning of this grad data proves.
Insisting on success within an assessment system that reflects little more than economic standing as contingent for a high school diploma does little more than assure that the “have-nots” will not graduate, will be wholly unable to continue their education, so subsequently only qualify for low-paying jobs, and assure the continued “economic disadvantage” for themselves in their lifetime, and their children in theirs.
Four: Shut Up.
The insistence from Columbus on the unproven lie that success on state assessments somehow equates to career or college readiness is not helping boost achievement for Ohio’s students, when education practitioners from all corners of the state understand completely that the system is a sham, limited at best in its ability to measure anything, and yet still being wielded as a weapon to punish children and their teachers while being disguised as a mechanism for improvement with phrases like “they have answered the call” or “they have stepped up to the challenge.”
Chad Aldis of the Fordham Foundation believes we teachers and students have stepped up to the challenge of tougher expectations on the new assessments, and that the grad crisis isn’t what we thought it was, and all sorts of other bullshit he thinks we’re listening to, even though we know that he’s an advocate for charter schools who benefit from the failure of public schools on an assessment system (that essentially measures economics), through the opening of districts to new charters, or the complete CEO-style takeover of districts like Youngstown and Lorain.
Assessments benefit the people you work for, Chad, we get it.
Six: The Reality.
There is still a Graduation Problem, if not a Crisis.
Thousands of students will be prevented from graduating because of a flawed assessment system.
Those students left without diplomas will be disproportionately economically disadvantaged.
This is criminal.