New York Times
The 'Zero Dropout' Miracle: Alas! Alack! A Texas Tall Tale
By MICHAEL WINERIP
August 13, 2003
HOUSTON - ROBERT
KIMBALL, an assistant principal at Sharpstown High School, sat smack in the middle of the "Texas miracle." His poor, mostly
minority high school of 1,650 students had a freshman class of 1,000 that dwindled to fewer than 300 students by senior year.
And yet ・and this is the miracle ・not one dropout to report!
In February, with the help of Dr. Kimball, the local television station KHOU broke the news that Sharpstown High had falsified
its dropout data. That led to a state audit of 16 Houston schools, which found that of 5,500 teenagers surveyed who had left
school, 3,000 should have been counted as dropouts but were not. ...
To skeptics like Dr. Kimball, the parallels to No Child Left
Behind are depressing. ...
New York Times
School Violence Data Under a Cloud in Houston
November 7, 2003
By SAM DILLON
HOUSTON, Oct. 31 -
... In the last four school years, the Houston district's own police, who patrol
its 80 middle and high schools, have entered 3,091 assaults into a database that is shared with the Houston city police but
not with the Texas Education Agency in Austin.
In the same period, the Houston district itself has listed just 761
schoolhouse assaults on its annual disciplinary summaries sent to Austin. ...
©2003 The New York Times Company
Education 'Miracle' Has a Math Problem
Bush Critics Cite Disputed Houston Data
By Michael Dobbs
Saturday, November 8, 2003; Page A01
The complete article is currently (3/27/04) available on the
Washington Post website at-- http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A14117-2003Nov7?language=printer
HOUSTON -- When the state of Texas bestowed "exemplary" status
on Austin High School in August 2002, ecstatic administrators compared the honor to winning the Super Bowl. There was more
cheering and pompom-waving a few weeks later when a private foundation honored Houston for having the nation's best urban
Just a year later, the high school has been downgraded to
"low-performing," the lowest possible rating. And the Houston Independent School District -- showcase of the "Texas educational
miracle" that President Bush has touted as a model for the rest of the nation -- is fending off accusations that it inflated
its achievements through fuzzy math. ...
© 2003 The Washington Post Company
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