Part II of Louisiana’s Phony Graduation StandardsThe extremely low passing scores on high school required courses adopted in secret by our Department of Education have made it the official policy of our Department of Education to give students credit for courses even though they know only a fraction of the information taught in those courses!
A simple calculation, taking into account the multiple choice nature of the majority of most end-of-course tests indicates that it is possible for a student to pass these tests by knowing as little as 10 to 20% of the tested material.
Phony College Enrollment NumbersWhat about Louisiana’s increase in college enrollment numbers? Some of our high schools are boosting the enrollment of their graduates in college. There are charter schools that actually require their graduates to register for college as part of their graduation procedure. But unfortunately college enrollment is not the same as matriculation to college.
Phony Credit Recovery Courses
Another proven tactic for boosting the graduation rate is to allow students in high school to take credit recovery courses. A credit recovery course is a series of lessons a student who failed a course can take, usually on a computer, that will allow him/her to pass the course in a relatively short time. I don’t think the LDOE monitors these courses to see if they are meeting any standard whatsoever. The trainer can just focus on the 20 to 30 percent of the relatively easy concepts on the state end-of-course test and get the student to take or retake one of those “rigorous” end-of-course-tests and presto he/she is eligible for graduation.
Mandatory Attendance Ignored
Many schools no longer enforce the mandatory attendance law for fear that students may fail or drop out. The official policy of BESE (Section 901 of bulletin 741) is that if a student has 10 or more unexcused absences in a semester, he/she cannot get credit for that course. We hear that in the New Orleans Recovery District, some students who miss as many as half the instructional days in a semester are dragged in to take a couple of quickie credit recovery courses so they can get credit and graduate in 4 years and boost the school performance score. Students are learning that you don't even have to show up to be successful! We heard one story of a teacher in a charter school who kept warning a student that he was failing a required course. He said; “I’m not worried, I don’t have to pass your ______ing course. Mr ______ said I could take a credit recovery course and he guaranteed me I could pass that.”