The success the Black community has been touting about at Howard is just another failure of Blacks that must not go unnoticed. What I am referring to is that Howard has been a failing school ever since I can remember, but recently it was taken off the none-performance list because of overnight success. We know as educators that there is no overnight success in education because education is an evolution not a revolution. We learned that from the Atlanta testing scandal.
When failing schools like Howard claim overnight success, that’s a red flag and deserves further review. What I found in analyzing these data from the state’s report card was a different story for Howard; they’re not successful as they claim, but are creating success when none is there. At this point, I have turned my findings over to the state for punitive actions.
In looking at the state’s report card as it relates to achievement scores and graduation rates, I found a troubling correlation with Howard. It’s axiomatic that achievement should have a positive correlation with graduation rates. In others words, high achievement scores should result in high graduation rates, and low achievement scores should correlate to low graduation rates. With Howard the converse is true; they have low achievement scores, but high graduation rates. I put together a chart comparing four schools in the Hamilton County school system; Brainerd, Hixson, Ooltewah and Howard, and what I found was that of the four schools I examined, Howard has the lowest achievement scores but the highest graduation rate. How can that be?
That’s what educators call social promotion.
What the administration appears to be doing over at Howard is graduating students with low achievement scores and falsifying their data to create high graduation rates. Howard is a dump; always has been and always will — education is everybody’s business since as a nation we’re failing our children, especially Black kids.
Clifford Eberhardt, Ed.D