Houston's League of United Latin Americans chapter is slamming a glowing evaluation of the two Community Education Partners schools conducted by two A&M professors.
The professors' report, which according to an HISD spokesperson was financed by CEP, found that CEP "performed well, relative to expectations."
But the LULAC report questions the professors' methodologies and states the profs were working with incomplete data. It also states that an internal CEP report on the number of student dropouts in 2007-08 do not match figures CEP gave to the Texas Education Agency.
"CEP reporting of student data to TEA is not only flawed, but false and requires an investigation," according to the LULAC report.
Because the professors only looked at data for a one-year period, "this is not an evaluation of the program...especially when CEP, which has a vested interest in its contract, provided most of the data to analyze," according to the LULAC report issued today.
The LULAC report also calls into question the validity of CEP students' improved math and reading skills -- data provided by CEP -- and states that "CEP refused to allow" HISD to administer its own tests.
It also claims a principal's survey of CEP was skewed toward only the principals who referred students to CEP in a one-year period. "Over 50 percent of middle and high schools do not send students to CEP," the report states. "We believe [a complete survey] would have shown how principals who do not send their students to CEP do not support the program."
Other trouble spots in the professors' report include:
-- The conclusion that 70 percent of middle-school students referred to CEP were promoted is "factually incorrect," and that the real figure is actually 55 percent
-- The report's finding of a 70 percent promotion and retention rate is incorrect, based on previous findings that "only 35 percent of 200 students enrolled in early 2004 were enrolled in HISD in March 2006."
-- The professors were unable to determine if CEP met the contractually mandated 85 percent attendance and leaver rate; LULAC states that "over 70 percent of students do not stay in HISD until graduation after they are referred to CEP."
Roger Goddard, one of the co-authors of the CEP report, is scheduled to appear at today's HISD board meeting.
Update: The HISD board was briefed on the report this afternoon, but it resulted in a relatively uneventful discussion.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.