Non-Exam Boston High Schools are a Disaster – Now with Charts!

In Massachusetts, we sure do love our education reports.

Especially about the Boston Public Schools. 

In case you missed it, last week, the Boston Foundation and the Boston Opportunity Agenda released their report:

Guess what? Post-secondary outcomes are bad. The indicators of potential success? All pretty obvious.

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We know this already, but God bless the Boston Foundation for trying to get everyone to focus on it. Again.

You can read it for yourself, but here are EduMom’s major headlines from this one:

SHOW UP, GET AVERAGE GRADES, ACCESS TO RIGOROUS COURSEWORK IN HIGH SCHOOL = BETTER SHOT AT COLLEGE COMPLETION:

Students who have decent attendance, decent grades (C+/B-), and have some rigorous classwork (complete MassCore, take an AP class), tend to have a better chance at graduating 2 or 4 year colleges.  

But the thing is — everyone knows this.  It is not just obvious – these metrics were based on a literature review going back decades.  

The problem is, no one at BPS has been tracking or managing against the data.

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Could they finally get started now? Word on the street is that some work groups are now “looking into it.”

Great. We should probably get on that.

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COMMUNITY COLLEGES – WE HAVE A PROBLEM:

What the hell is going on at community colleges?  

According to the report, only around 60 kids from the BPS kids from the Class of 2010 graduated from a 2-year school.

THE NUMBERS ARE EVEN WORSE THAN THEY SEEM:

Keep in mind, in order to make any sense of this report at all, we need to constantly follow the bouncing ball of percents.  

What is being reported often is a % of a %, meaning the real numbers are even lower than people realize.

For instance:

Only 39% of the kids graduated from BPS in 2010 graduated 2 or 4 year schools by 2017.

 

But that 39% is of the kids who enrolled in a 2 or 4 year college.  

The real percent should be on the number of kids who graduated, which was about 3,495.  

Now the percent drops to 30%.  

NON-EXAM BOSTON HIGH SCHOOLS ARE A DISASTER:

Final fun fact:  

39% of the 2691 kids is around 1,100 kids.  

The three exam schools in Boston alone graduated almost 950 kids that year.

Now, we’d be willing to bet that most of the BPS grads are exam school alums.

Why?

Because those are the kids who we have figured out how to motivate to show up, get better than BPS average grades and actually have access to rigorous curriculum. (See above.)

But of course, the data has not been released by school — so who can really say!

Why?

We don’t like to single out ANY “problem schools” because the adults running the buildings may end up having hurt feelings.

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Questions for YOU, dear reader:

How many more reports do we need before we actually take action?

If you create a report and no one other than the edu-fabulous folks read it, does it even matter?

When are we going to get serious about all this?

 

What do you think?

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