High school graduation rates up – – Not so fast!

February 25th, 2023 by Ken

Local school districts, the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office and even the Governor are touting the increase in graduation rates among state high schools.  Recently data released on graduation rates show that school district’s graduation rates had increased by six points in the last decade.

Ten years ago, the graduation rate in state schools, including right here in Thurston County hovered around 74 to 76 percent graduating in four years.  Which meant that fully one-quarter of all high school students didn’t graduate on time.  It was shocking for parents and for those who continue to support more funding for education.

Now, the higher graduation rates are bringing smiles back to administrators faces and making them feel free to ask for more funding for education by pointing to those increased graduates.

But wait – – as they say.  There’s more.

How was this increase in graduation rates accomplished.  An additional five percentage points were added when the state started counting those that graduated in five years, six years and even longer.  The state counts high school graduation rates until age 21.   If the student graduates by that age, they are counted as graduates.  Fair enough.  But schools try to make parents and the general public, think those rates were obtained in normal four years.

School districts have also allowed students to graduate without fulfilling the requirements and without getting enough credits.  Districts have also dumbed down the curriculum making it easier to pass classes.

And, to top it off, the recent graduation rates of 82 percent also counted the Covid years of 2020 and 2021, when all students automatically passed.

Efforts to increase graduation rates shouldn’t come through the use of smoke and mirrors.  And they shouldn’t be used to cover up the poor state of our educational system.  Shame

Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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