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  • REFUGEE CRISIS

    Filed at 6:31 am under by dcobranchi

    The NYT reports that schools are pushing out more students in order to make their performance appear better.

    Officially the city’s dropout rate hovers around 20 percent. But critics say that if the students who are pushed out were included, that number could be 25 to 30 percent.

    …”Principals are told these kids who aren’t doing well are going to make your school look terrible,” said Don Freeman, who retired as principal at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School last year. “Sending them into a G.E.D. program is not a negative, it’s not a dropout, it won’t count against you. So more and more of the vulnerable unsophisticated kids are counseled out to G.E.D. programs.”

    …Those students represent the unintended consequence of the effort to hold schools accountable for raising standards: As students are being spurred to new levels of academic achievement and required to pass stringent Regents exams to get their high school diplomas, many schools are trying to get rid of those who may tarnish the schools’ statistics by failing to graduate on time.

    It may have been unintended but it was surely predictable. When you choose to reward an outcome instead of a behavior, you shouldn’t be shocked when people do whatever they (legally) can in order to obtain the reward. It’s called “working the system.” This isn’t a new phenomenon, however; homeschoolers have been dealing with “refugees” or “pushouts” for a long time.

    The typical scenario: A homeschool support group gets a phone call asking for help getting started. The parent knows absolutely nothing about homeschooling, often assuming that they can drop their kid off at a homeschooler’s house to be “homeschooled.” They’re shocked that it doesn’t work this way and that they have to purchase the curriculum themselves. Then it comes out that their kid is a refugee. Very sad.

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