Graduation rates are up, but is it real?

High school graduation rates are up, but why? Tonight, PBS NewsHour looks at charges schools are increasing numbers artificially by “labeling dropouts as transfers, encouraging home schooling for their most troubled students, or creating alternative systems such as computer-based ‘credit recovery’ courses.”

The show also examines small theme-based schools in New York City and early college programs in Texas that seem to be getting more students to a valid high school diploma.

About Joanne


  1. Stacy in NJ says:

    We should just stop granting high school diplomas altogether. Let students attend school until their ready to 1) take the SAT/ACT and move on to college 2) pass a basic skills competency test. 3) Leave because they don’t want to be there any more 4) turned 18.

    • I agree with you there. At >90% of the K-12 school districts in this country, a ‘high school diploma’ is really nothing more than a ‘certificate of attendance’ anyway… No real education can occur anymore because any lesson on any major subject will offend someone in the school district, somewhere…

  2. The jokes just sort of write themselves, don’t they?

  3. My home state of Nevada just got caught fudging it’s graduation numbers for 2011-2012, and rather than a 7 point gain to 67-68%, it’s actually a 1-2 point gain to 61-62%.

    This happened because they forgot to factor in the new method of tracking who qualifies as a graduation (i.e. – they weren’t counting dropouts), and the 5th year senior graduation rate remained stagnant at 61%.

    I have no idea what a 5th year senior is, when I attended public school, you got four years in high school, and if you couldn’t finish then, you finished in adult education (which the school district does have), and the oldest age someone could register to be a student in our district is 19, so I could see someone being out with illness or injury for a year (aka – academic redshirt), but as a rule, we didn’t have such nonsense when I went to public school 30+ years ago.