Monday, April 11, 2011

Pedro Noguera: Would You Keep Your Sons in Dropout Factories?

A final powerful rebuttal: this one by Dropout Nation's Rishawn Biddle, of Prof. Pedro Noguera's op ed in which he argues that dropout factories shouldn't be closed:

There is no reason to keep open a dropout factory or a failure mill. Not one at all. Every day a child is subjected to abysmal instruction, shoddy curricula, faulty school leadership and cultures of failure, that child loses opportunities for future success and the ability to write their own stories. As researchers such as Sitha Babu, William Sanders and others have shown, even a high-performing student will fall behind if they are taught by three consecutive low-performing teachers. Nor do the dropout factories improve over time. As seen in the case of Indianapolis' Emmerich Manual High School (one of the schools profiled as part of the 2005 series I wrote detailing how inflated graduation rates hid the nation's dropout crisis), the schools and their cultures remain as pervasive and abusive to students now as they were decades ago. As the Thomas B. Fordham Institute pointed out earlier this year, just 1 percent of low-performing schools it surveyed were dramatically turned around in five years.

Which is why New York University Professor Pedro Noguera's claptrap in today's New York Daily News a stunning example of fantasy over data and common sense. While declaring that "New York cannot wait any longer" to keep black and Latino males on the path towards graduation and success in life, Noguera goes off and argues that this requires keeping the Big Apple's dropout factories and failure mills open for business. From where Noguera, shutting down dropout factories have done little for black and Latino students; instead what should be done is to keep the schools open and instead, use his favored interventions — including extending the school day, pre-k programs and mentoring operations.


Pedro Noguera: Would You Keep Your Sons in Dropout Factories?


April 8, 2011

by RiShawn Biddle

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