Saturday, July 26, 2008

IPS - Worst in the Nation

According to yet another study on the subject of public school graduation rates, Indianapolis Public Schools graduate 19% of its' students.

19%. From the Indy Star report:
Only about a quarter of public schoolchildren in Indianapolis attend IPS. And the district -- by big-city standards -- is not especially large, with 35,000 students, and shrinking.

It is shrinking, in part, because parents increasingly are sending their children to charter schools. Others move from the district or, in affluent neighborhoods, send children to schools outside the district.

It's pretty simple. If you have any means, and any hope for your children, you get them out of IPS. You move, you send them to private school- anything but send them to IPS.

This constitutes a near wholesale rejection of IPS. 75% of students and parents reject IPS. But of the 25% who settle on IPS, another 81% fail to graduate from it.

So, IPS graduates 4.75% of Marion County students. (19% of the 25%) That's about as dismal as could be imagined. Why does all this money continue to be sent down a rat hole? For this, the elderly are being displaced from their homes in the property tax war?

If 75% of Marion County rejects what is being given to them for free, and another 81% of the students who stay in IPS later reject what is being given to them for free, isn't it time to start questioning whether or not it is the great benefit it's touted as, and as importantly, should be given?

I think at this point, IPS should be scrapped entirely. If it should survive, then tuition should be charged. The people who value education will pay for it. Those who don't, well, 75%, plus another 81% percent of the remaining 25% are rejecting it for free anyway.

Here's a link to the Schott Foundation's most recently published study.


varangianguard said...

Some days, some people shouldn't be allowed near math, much less statistics.

First, I think the article is about black male graduation rates only. This post doesn't read like you picked up on that detail.

Second, IPS's boundaries are fairly close to the old city limits of Indianapolis, so in actuality 75% of (now) "Indianapolis" students live in either one of the eight township school districts or one of the remnant city school districts in Lawrence, Beech Grove or Speedway.

Now, that doesn't mean that there isn't a strong private/charter school enrollment, but how do you feel confident in saying that 75% of Marion County students constitute a near "wholesale rejection" IPS, I cannot fathom.

Third, this study is dated to when Superintendent White was first hired. I would think it difficult to justify a rounded condemnation of his policies using data extent before his administration began?

I would like to conduct an argument about public education with you, as it is worthy of a discussion, but I cannot justify providing any apparent validation using this particular post.

Mike Kole said...

The Schott Foundation study and the article are indeed about black male rates. The sidebar to the article showed the white male rates alongside the black male rates, and those were also 19%.

I'll grant you I could have been more precise on differentiating IPS from Marion County, where applicable.

I wasn't condemning Superintendent White's policies. I was condeming public education. I think you could put any executive you want in as Superintendent and it wouldn't make a hill o' beans worth of difference, not when the students and parents don't value an education enough to get them through the truly easy process of making it to graduation.

varangianguard said...

I understood that your critique was geared towards public education as a whole, and there is plenty of room for discussion about it. But, your talking points obviously grated on me because it read like you were making fallacious comparisons, just to bolster your own view.

The problem with public education is mainly that it isn't about education at all. I can argue, in fact, that most education isn't really about education, just that some get better results than others.

Almost every "stakeholder" in education, especially public education should own up to a certain amount of responsibility of the current state of public education.

Start with whomever you want, politicians, civil service bureacracies, administrators, teachers, teacher unions, society as a whole, taxpayers, parents, children and anybody else you care to include.

You want to talk about charter schools in Marion County? They have a mixed bag of results. Why did they take off? Because certain local politicians found themselves excluded from the education directional process (legally), and decided to circumvent and subvert those whose stood up to them via other means. Charter schools have other issues as well, profit over standards/progress, selectivity in enrollment, responsibility to entities whose expertises don't include education.

Frankly, I think it's is still too early to get a grip on whether charter schools are really any better than public schools when comparing apples to apples. I just dont' see much apple to apple comparisons by charter proponents.