So, in Richmond we have very high cost and lousy performance. The other Bad News is that Richmond has been inflating the SOL scores by getting rid of a third of the kids who enter high school. The enrollment pattern by grade gives away the game:
|(Data normalized to the 9th grade membership).|
Just looking at the raw enrollments, the State enrollment at Grade 12 is down 11.4% from Grade 9. Richmond, however, is down nearly three times as much, 32.9%. In short, Richmond is culling the kids to improve their test scores. The people who pay the price for that, of course, are the kids who "graduate" with nonstandard degrees,
And the kids who don't graduate at all:
Adding the advanced and standard diploma rates: Richmond had a 63% graduation rate on the cohort that graduated in 2012; the state rate was 84%. The 21% difference can't be expected to help anything beyond the population of Mayor Jones' new jail (that already is too small).
More data on this issue here and here. These data suggest that the Mayor's 2005-06 truancy campaign (by the City [pdf], not by the School Board, of course) has had only a minor effect upon Richmond's outrageous practice of driving out the low-performing kids to improve the scores.
Even more outrageously, Richmond has been boosting its scores by abusing the process for identifying and testing kids with disabilities. To the good, the new math test this year ended the abuse as to math (with a brutal cost to Richmond's scores, as set out above); the new English test this year should finish the job.
So there you have it: High cost and lousy scores, in spite of the cheating to boost those scores. [To Read More: Click Here].