If you believe in miracles, clap your hands!


With Superintendent John Deasy under pressure because of the accumulation of his bad decisions, the district just announced that high school graduation rates increased by a stunning 12% in only one year! Clap your hands!


While citizens are demanding Deasy’s resignation, and the city’s elites defend him because he gets results, even if teachers and parents don’t like him, Deasy announced that the graduation rate had soared to an amazing 77% (clap your hands).


Howard Blume writes a cautionary note:


But the good news comes with a substantial caveat. The rate is calculated based on students enrolled in comprehensive high schools, and it leaves out students who transfer to alternative programs — which frequently include those most at risk of dropping out.

For example, Bernstein Senior High in Hollywood had a graduation rate of 62%; Alonzo, the “option” school on the corner of that property, had a graduation rate of 5.2%. Santee Education Complex, south of downtown, had a rate of 68%; Kahlo High School, the alternative campus on its perimeter, had a rate of 10%.

Once the alternative campuses are factored in, L.A. Unified’s rate drops to 67% — much less impressive but still surpassing what the district has accomplished in recent history. The previous year’s rate of 65% also did not include students in such programs.

In the past, graduation rates have been subject to extreme manipulation, although that is less likely under current methods of record-keeping.

“We continue to move closer to our goal,” Deasy said. “The results keep getting better and better.”

The statewide graduation rate is 80% for 2012-13, the most recent year available.


The one thing we have noticed in recent years is that the more data matter, the more data are manipulated to produce the necessary results. That is known as Campbell’s Law.


“The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”