Bruce Baker here examines a “graduate school” created by charter schools where their inexperienced teachers train new teachers how to produce high test scores.

The model is a charter in New Jersey called North Star that gets great “growth scores” but has remarkably high attrition rates, especially among black boys.

Baker writes:

“But is a school really successful if 50 enter 5th grade, 1/3 are gone by 8th grade and only a handful ever graduate?

“Is this any indication of the quality of teaching, or pedagogy involved? I won’t go so far as to suggest that what I personally might perceive as offensive, demeaning pedagogy is driving these attrition rates (okay… maybe I just did).

“But, at the very least, I might argue that a school that loses over half its kids from grade 5 to 12 is a failing school, not an outstanding one. Whether that has any implications for labeling their teachers as “failing” and their preparation programs as “failing” is another question entirely.

“It is quite simply completely and utterly ridiculous to suggest that Relay GSE is an outstanding graduate school of education as a function of measured test score gains of the few students who might stick around to take the tests in subsequent years.

“No secret sauce here… just a boatload of bogus policy assumptions creating perverse incentives and taking our education system even further in the wrong direction.”