Thu. Jan 21st, 2021

Widely derivative for once Columbia University’s District Public School has become a shining national example of improving education in recent years due to rapidly rising graduation rates. In October 2016, President Obama Postponed Aggressive education reform “was progressing,” as evidenced by the nation’s record high graduation rate, particularly Highlighting DCPS: “Here in DC, in just five years, the graduation rate [DCPS] From just 53 percent to 69 percent. … It is indeed a matter of pride. “Worrying January” Report goodHowever, widespread fraud was found in DCPS graduation rates, expressing serious concerns about how we know progress when we look at it.

The report found that last year, one-third of DCPS graduates received diplomas in violation of district policy. Twenty percent had too many absentees, and 10 percent missed half the school year. Fifteen percent took the “credit-recovery” course – the shortened version of the course for students who had previously failed – without the original curriculum. Even within credit-recovery courses, 15 percent of graduates passed with extreme absenteeism. Yet another issue was grade change, where administrators pressured teachers or took it upon themselves to change grades, with more than 4,000 such instances in the same high school. Without these shortcuts, DCPS’s record 73 percent graduation rate would have fallen to around 48 percent.

Who can tell DCPS leaders that this fraud was happening? Could have been teachers. In fact, they tried, but to no avail. Following Famous 2017 Ballu High School graduate, teacher Alerted District Officer of excessive absence of graduate. After a month of inactivity, Ballu teacher and union representative, Monica Brokenborough, emailed Chancellor Antwan Wilson and filed a formal complaint. Again, no response. The Ballou government teacher, Brian Butcher, refused when students and administrators asked him to give him makeup work just before graduation so that he could pass his course. Both teachers lost their positions last year, and both believed it was retaliation.

Often, district leaders should take alarms from disgruntled teachers with a grain of salt, but Brokenborough and Butcher were not alone in their faults. A December Washington Teachers Association member poll found that more than half of DCPS high-school teachers thought their school’s graduation rate was wrong, and 60 percent felt “pressure or coercion” in passing students that exceeded expectations. Did not complete. The teachers knew – some even objected – but DCPS officials were not asking, or even listening.

DCPS may have the most recent scandal, but the same pattern is evident in districts across the country. for example, Of Nashville As teachers, the graduation rate increased by 12 points in eight years complained About the poor quality of online credit recovery. When Chicago Public Schools Started Online Credit Recovery (Where Students Can Get At Least Complete Course Credit eight days), The The union Loosely lowered academic standards. New York City Teachers have skyrocketed at the rate of 24 points in 10 years Jokingly said When they pass through our school, “vehicles better roll up their windows or they will have a ‘diploma-driven campaign’ in their car.” Prince George’s County, Maryland changed the final grades and ignored excessive absences until staff raised the alarm to the governor. San Diego Teachers warned of a massive cheat in online credit recovery, which the district expanded anyway, reaching a graduation rate of 91 percent.

Teachers have shoes on the ground in schools, but their voice is often overlooked in the search for top-down reforms. This is not a new issue. As my colleague Rick Hayes called it “Cage-busting teacher, “” Teachers feeling isolated, frustrated, thoughtless and under attack is nothing new. In fact, this is similar to how our K-12 system was designed. … It was created by reformers trying to determine the work of teachers and also by teacher advocates with the intention of adding new safety straps around teachers. “

When reforms seem right – such as every successive record-high graduation rate – the district officials, reformers and policy makers get to celebrate. But when teachers raise real implementation concerns – such as unreserved grade changes or the absence of students – they are labeled as grumpy or whiners. Some are bypassed like Brokenborough and Butcher, other It is meaningless to learn to speak fear, retribution and more. This is dangerous, because silent teachers prevent districts from knowing when things start to fall sideways.

This trend is the reason that teachers’ unions have an important role in maintaining the improvement in education. Teacher associations are often depicted as heroes or villains. There are certainly instances where they have played either roles, but the fact remains that they are neither equally heroes nor villains. When there are no unions to raise and protect the voices of teachers, teachers are demoted and at higher levels, school systems lose an important means to protect themselves from foreboding and obvious error .

Of course, teachers’ unions are also not pure heroes. They have their own ax to grind, so the leaders of the district have to sift through their posts carefully to manage the reforms well. Such policies are sometimes required that hold teachers’ unions and teachers themselves. But just as often, unions and teachers need to keep Policy Under investigation.

Aggressive efforts to boost graduation rates are a matter of the latter. If DCPS had prioritized the voice of teachers, DCPS might have some disadvantages. Some could be avoided if the DC teachers’ union conducted its surveys years ago, when these trends were nascent. Governors, mayors and district leaders should work together with local unions to explain what teachers must do to build buildings – teachers come out of the push for graduation. Only shoes can reliably flag the ground, where school reforms can get stuck upside down, and defame those in DCPS who avoid sprouting. Teachers and their unions can instruct us on school reform, if they take up the challenge, and if we listen.

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