Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza crowed about the city’s “record high” high-school graduation rates last week, skipping over as usual the fact that it’s the result of a lower bar — not better schools.
For the record, the rate is up nearly 9 percentage points since de Blasio took office — but city students’ showing on the national “gold standard” test for educational achievement, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, is basically flat.
The real change: The state Board of Regents has made it easier to earn a diploma by creating more “pathways” to graduation — as well as by making it easier to pass state tests, including the Regents exams.
For the record, the Regents’ minions at the State Education Department deny this: “We cannot know whether a student would have been successful in the traditional pathway to a diploma,” an SED flack told The Post. And: The new routes to diplomas “keep students in school by allowing them to pursue a path that interests them.”
Those claims would stand up better if New York was seeing gains on the NAEP. It’s not.
For the city, and probably other school districts across the state, another factor is cheating by school administrators. De Blasio’s system can’t seem to go a year without some new grade-fixing or bogus “credit recovery” scandal surfacing in The Post, thanks mostly to outraged teachers.
What New York needs isn’t simply rising graduation rates, but rising numbers of seniors actually ready to go to college or start a career. Any “success” short of that is just a marketing ploy.