Taking a dump
And here is evidence that the practice might be widespread in charter schools as well:
AUSTIN - A state senator wants to know why more than 400 Houston-area charter school students moved to traditional schools in a four-month period leading up to February's state testing.
Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, wrote a letter to Education Commissioner Shirley Neeley this week asking for an investigation into possible "student dumping."
"This figure appears inflated to me, and it is almost as if students are being dumped off onto school districts for the sake of ratings," Gallegos said. "Texas relies heavily on students' academic performance, and this alleged trend could have a profound affect on a school's academic rating."
Gallegos is asking for an audit of student migration trends, whether there was a spike in enrollment in the months leading up to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, and how charter schools report student migration.
...Gallegos is looking for an investigation. He said if the charter schools want to be in the business of teaching, they should be held responsible for their own actions.
"We are talking about keeping a child up to a certain point and then dumping that child due to low performance," he said. "Any way you paint it, that is wrong."
Yes, it is. But you can hardly blame the charters or the public schools for that matter, for dumping students. They're simply gaming the system; under NCLB, their job security is at stake. It's wrong, yes, but definitely easy to understand. This is yet another reason why assessment should be a year round, regular endeavor, not a one-week, high stakes event.