Letters to the Editor

No diploma, no job skills

Fresno Building Healthy Communities is spending a lot of advertising money demanding accountability from Fresno Unified School District. Perhaps they should instead focus on the results of 15 alternative schools in the county that graduated only 327 of the 1,174 students in their state defined “cohort.” That was only a 28% success rate for their class of 2015.

The California Department of Education now reports graduation rates for district “cohorts.” Loosely defined, these are the students left after school districts reassign some of them to alternative charter programs that may include online schools and home study.

Removing disruptive students, or kids with special needs, probably improves the learning environment for those that remain. But apparently over 800 Fresno-area students left charter schools with neither a diploma nor employment skills in 2015.

Fresno Unified transferred responsibility for 1,101 students from their freshmen class of 2011. Their remaining “cohort” had an 84% success rate.

Clovis Unified transferred 205, Visalia Unified reassigned just 82 and both had remarkable 95% “cohort” success rates.

Education reform groups should ask who approved the charters for the alternative schools? Who is responsible for their results? And, who is receiving the state funding for their attendance?

Jerrold H. Jensen, Visalia

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