It’s time to get honest (pdf) about graduation rates, says an Education Trust report.
Number fudging is blatant, writes the Washington Post.
Earlier this year, North Carolina trumpeted a spectacular high school graduation rate of 97 percent at a time when 1 in 3 students in the state, and nearly 1 in 2 African Americans, routinely fails to receive a high school diploma.
. . . If some of the claims sound too good to be true, it is because they are based on “extremely unreliable” data and “ludicrous definitions” of high school dropout rates that vary widely from state to state, according to a report released yesterday by the Education Trust, an education think tank.
North Carolina’s real graduation rate is 64 percent, Education Trust estimates.
Many states also set “laugably low” progress targets, Education Trust says. Boosting graduation rates by one tenth of one percent is enough to meet No Child Left Behind’s requirements in most states.
In an Educational Testing Service poll, Americans gave high schools a C grade. Only 9 percent of those polled think high school students are challenged academically by their courses.