Yesterday WHYY Newsworks ran my column which responded to a badly-flawed Courier-Post piece, “Graduation Loophole Common in Camden” on Camden Public Schools’ use of “appeals,” an alternate graduation pathway for students who fail the High School Proficiency Assessments in language arts and math.
Today the Courier-Post Editorial Board corrected the misconceptions and mistakes in the original article. That’s a credit to their management and integrity.
Here are a few items from the editorial:
- "Camden’s not the only district that relies on the appeal process, but it may be alone in being so transparent about the numbers."
- "Camden Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard deserves credit for being open about metrics that the state and other districts have chosen to obscure."
- On the reporter’s comparison of Camden’s appeals percentage to that in nearby Haddonfield: “But affluent Haddonfield does not have the same challenges as Camden. It might have been more instructive to compare the city with neighboring Pennsauken, or to other urban districts like Newark and Trenton.”
- :Furthermore, if so many are unable to pass state exams, where does the failure lie? Are students lacking basic skills they’ll need once they leave school? Or does the appeal process demonstrate that they are better at math and language arts than at passing standardized tests?"