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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fudging the numbers.

Trayvon Martin was not arrested for stealing jewelry because the school police department wanted to be able to claim that they had reduced the crime rate.  It's fairly certain that if he had, he would still be alive.

And then there's another academic scandal. 

Administrators at the university sacrifice academic integrity to make the school’s results look better.
In this historically Black college

Many of the entering students were not prepared for college and required remediation before they were able to take regular college courses. Thus, many of these students were unable to make it through to graduation and that put pressure on the university and faculty to increase success rates. The university’s four-year graduation rate for the university was a mere 14 percent. Since funding from the state is based on graduation rates and a school’s accreditation can be jeopardized by low rates, campus officials were extremely concerned.

Because of WSSU’s low graduation rate, school officials had to decide whether to change its admission standards and move to attract a higher quality of student, or to lower course standards to make it appear that students were more successful. During faculty and staff meetings, this was discussed and the chancellor stated that he did not want to change the “look” of WSSU. Raising admission standards would mean fewer students on campus and therefore less state money flowing in.

The path the administration took was to make it seem as though students were doing better. Of course, there was no official statement to that effect, but I realized that was the case after faculty members began to share their concerns and frustration with me.

Read the whole thing.

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