Too Many Still Ignoring Them
“One of the first steps for anyone wanting to reduce the dropout rate in a community may be to convince others that a dropout problem exists.”
From: Reducing Dropout Rates – “Grad Nation: A Guidebook to Help Communities Tackle the Dropout Crisis”
Education Week Subscription Required).
It’s nice to see that the Gates Foundation and others who supported this new report agree that a major problem exists with graduation rates in this country. The only question is why they took so long to see the obvious.
Of course, understanding the real dropout problem in Kentucky is made far harder because the official graduation and dropout rate reports paint far too rosy a picture. While our legislators seem happy to mostly just stand by, even after an official audit condemned the accuracy of our dropout rate reporting, the Kentucky Department of Education continues to crank out fictional graduation rates about 10 points higher than the likely reality.
The situation for minority dropout reporting is even worse. Aside from an overall, statewide average, there isn’t any decent reporting of disaggregated rates for minority graduation rates. The Bluegrass Institute had to use an approximation measure from Johns Hopkins University to do our “How Whites and Blacks Perform in Jefferson County Public Schools” report because not one school leader in this state is held separately accountable for biases in whom they do graduate.
Graduation rates are part of the CATS accountability system; but, no one in the legislature is talking about requiring this part of the assessment to become more accurate. After all, when all you see are inflated numbers, it’s easy to be fooled – if you want to be. Meanwhile, far too many kids don’t just get left behind – they get left out all together.
Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry, fresh off his Fox News flogging for failure to put specifics to the promise that Spendulus 2009 will “create” jobs, is at again.
In an email he sent out this morning, he is still claiming the bailout of cities and states will create jobs. Team Obama has long-since figured out the way to avoid accountability for their claims is to state they will be “creating or saving jobs.”
If Gov. Steve Beshear could set aside politics for a minute and look at healthcare reality, he would do everything in his power to exempt Kentucky from this:
Kentucky’s health insurance market has actually recovered fairly well from its failed government takeover in 1994. Other states like California and New York, meanwhile have gone in the opposite direction in the name of “fairness” or some such gobbledygook.
Make a note of what medical costs are now. Painful experience with decades of increasing government involvement in U.S. healthcare should convince all of us that ten years of ObamaCare will have disastrous results.
But if you are looking for help forcing state and local governments to post their checkbooks online for everyone to see, they are asleep at the wheel.
Here is why:
If goons like the bureaucrats at the Lexington airport knew that if they rented strippers and bought guns with taxpayer money their expenditures would be posted to the internet and everyone would know, they would spend more time working and less messing around.
No messing around, no scandal. No scandal, no opportunity for a political figure friend to “investigate” the big story. And no big story.
Big stories sell newspapers.
If Kentucky’s First Amendment-protected newspapers were as interested in preventing scandals as they are in reporting on them, they would advocate for government transparency.
I’m headed to Frankfort to hear testimony in the Senate State and Local Government Committee about how spending transparency improves government. Interesting to see if any reporters cover that.