Here is an image of the RPS statements (downloaded on May 8, 2012):
Rather than fire the lawyers who continue to give them colossally bad advice, Brandon and the board appear to prefer eliminating teachers and teacher aides, instead of kicking the $1,000 a day legal habit RPS has with the Harrell Chambliss Law Firm.
To be sure, the RPS website contains some amazing statements: One admits that RPS is violating Virginia law; others deny by cherry-picking old data and ignoring more current information that Richmond’s drop-out initiative has led to a huge increase in drop-outs.
Violating Virginia Law
Now we have RPS’s admission that students are not “considered truant” until after “ten or more unexcused absences,” notwithstanding the Virginia law that requires a judicial proceeding after the seventh absence. Having noticed that ten is greater than seven, we are left to wonder when the Board of Education will discharge its duty to enforce § 22.1-258.
Lazy or Lying?It’s not clear why the RPS Web pages in 2012 would rely on statistics from 2008 and 2009 when the VDOE statistics now are current to 2011. Perhaps it’s because the old data suggest progress while, as the data below show, the 2011 data are much less rosy.
Turning first to the graduation rate: Richmond quotes from the state’s “on-time” graduation rate. Unfortunately, this rate is inflated by inclusion of the nonstandard diplomas. Thus, the feds require calculation of the graduation rate using only the standard and advanced diplomas. The difference is dramatic; for example, for 2011:
Even so, turning to the Richmond graduation rate and using the state’s inflated calculation:
Here we see that if Richmond were to cherry pick a year to brag, it would be 2010, not 2008. For sure, failure to report the drop in 2011 is misleading, at best.
The dropout rate shows a similar pattern:
So, we have Richmond bragging on old data while more recent data show better improvement and still more recent numbers show a decline.
Do you suppose this has something to do with the crackdown on the VGLA tests that Richmond was using to cheat on the SOLs. For sure, Richmond's SOL scores dropped in 2011.
Repeated telephone calls and e-mails asking for comment from Dr. Brandon and/or the School Board have not been returned. Go figure.
~ By Carol Wolf and John Butcher
* (Click each link for a sampling of investigative reports about RPS: SOL Cheating, abuse of VGLA, VAAP *alternative* disability testing, dismal data and analysis on children with disabilities, submission of false information to VDOE re: Suspensions, Expulsions, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law and faulty accounting of ADA money to comply with an U.S. District Court settlement agreement, questionable procurement processes, false SAT claims, and most recently -- bogus claims concerning International Baccaulaureate diplomas...).