As we mentioned Monday, the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees will discuss at tomorrow's meeting its contingency plans for Kimball, Roosevelt, Pinkston and Seagoville high schools should the Texas Education Agency deem them academically unacceptable for a fifth straight year. As DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander pointed out, the rating won't have to do with test scores, but with graduation rates. Trustee Carla Ranger takes up that issue on her blog, where she asks, Who's to blame for low completion rates? The answer:
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Teachers can teach until they are all blue in the face, but this alone will not overcome the wholesale disintegration of the family structure and the absence of stable family life.
The dropout rate and all educational outcomes are greatly impacted by such realities.
Sure, blame the schools -- blame the teachers.
Label schools as failures based on narrowly focused tests and dropout rates that are caused by a lack of parental responsibility.
Even when students do manage to pass tests - still label the schools as failures anyhow because of a dropout rate caused by far broader social problems that schools cannot solve alone.
This is wrongheaded reality.
What such reality accomplishes is the destruction of public education and the creation of data driven educational myths.