Posted: 2/15/2018 1:08:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Dominion21]
NPR investigated the DC public high-school where (officials claimed) every single student was eligible and headed to college. Turns out several students were unable to read and/or had missed a third of more of the classes senior year:
"What really happened at the high school where every student got into college
"I've never seen kids in the 12th grade that couldn't read and write," says Butcher about his two decades teaching in low-performing schools from New York City to Florida. But he saw this at Ballou, and it wasn't just one or two students.
An internal email obtained by WAMU and NPR from April shows two months before graduation, only 57 students were on track to graduate, with dozens of students missing graduation or community service requirements or failing classes needed to graduate. In June, 164 students received diplomas.
"It was smoke and mirrors. That is what it was," says Butcher.
Pressure to pass students
WAMU and NPR talked to nearly a dozen current and recent Ballou teachers — as well as four recent graduates — who tell the same story: Teachers felt pressure from administration to pass chronically absent students, and students knew the school administration would do as much as possible to get them to graduation.
"It's oppressive to the kids because you're giving them a false sense of success," says one current Ballou teacher, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her job.
"Ballou High School, in Washington, D.C.'s Southeast quadrant, is located in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods and has struggled academically for years. An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that the school's administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences."
We do not refer to it as Wahingtoon for nothing.
At least Marion Barry used to provide some humor.
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