Green Room

Public high school graduation rate now highest in four decades

posted at 3:16 pm on January 22, 2013 by

Illegal immigration has dropped precipitously over the past four years and more high-school students are staying in school than at any time since the 1970s. Who knows what other policy wonders might be accomplished in O’s second term by protracted sluggish quasi-recessionary economic “growth”?

Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director of the Pew center, said the findings confirm trends his organization has been tracking. “We’ve seen a surge in the Hispanic high school completion rate,” he said.

He pointed to the nation’s soft economy as one reason more students are staying in school but added that there is probably a shift in demographics at play, too…

Jack Buckley, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, agreed with Lopez that the weak economy is one reason for the improvement in graduation rates across the board.

“When the economy turns down or there are poor economic conditions, there’s a lack of available jobs for high school dropouts, fewer jobs that they can actually be qualified for,” Buckley told reporters last week. “Historically, there has been a correlation between the dropout rate going down when the economy is weaker.”

Obama paid this vital subject precisely as much attention in his speech yesterday as you’d expect.

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There is also a correlation between graduation rates and declining standards….

Average reading and writing SAT scores for high school students declined to their lowest levels while math results stalled in the exam used for admission at most U.S. colleges.

For the class of 2012, the average critical reading score fell 1 point to 496 from a year earlier, the lowest since data became available in 1972, according to a report released today by the New York-based College Board, which administers the test. The average score for writing dropped 1 point to 488, the lowest since writing was added to the exam in 2006. Math results were unchanged at 514. Scores can range from 200 to 800.

cynccook on January 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Cranking out ignoramuses.

tom daschle concerned on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Principals and school districts are also not above shuffling children, spiking data, etc. to make sure that their school and district look good.

Not saying that the findings aren’t necessarily true, but I’m aware of the games schools and districts will and do play.

Logus on January 22, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Are you telling me we should be hoping more children drop out of high school to take jobs? What high paying job would be available to a 16 year old with zero education that does not involve something illegal?

High school is so easy as it is! You don’t even need a complete set of chromosomes to finish it. The kids are never in class either, with month long vacations and county fairs every other day. It is such a complete joke that these kids are so ill-educated by the time they graduate college they still aren’t prepared for senior year of high school.

Standards will continue to slide until college becomes 10 years long just to teach them middle and high school topics again.

antisense on January 22, 2013 at 3:44 PM

There is also a correlation between graduation rates and declining standards….

Average reading and writing SAT scores for high school students declined to their lowest levels while math results stalled in the exam used for admission at most U.S. colleges.

cynccook on January 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Everybody gets a diploma, regardless of academic achievement, printed on toilet paper.

Then their college professors sing the praises of His Majesty Hussein the First.

Steve Z on January 22, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Here come the anti-education zealots.

If Del Dolemonte shows up. I need his help.

Capitalist Hog on January 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Well, no jobs. Stay in school.

School standards have fallen. Stay in school.

“Enabling” curricula. Stay in school.

When they get into college (where I work) I wished they actually LEARNED something in school.

ProfShadow on January 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

And the value of a high school diploma is pretty much “zero”.

2nd Ammendment Mother on January 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Has anyone checked on literacy and simple math skills? I bet they haven’t.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Here come the anti-education zealots.

If Del Dolemonte shows up. I need his help.

Capitalist Hog on January 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I don’t think most around here are anti-education. Many of us just question the actual value of what gets labelled education at all levels.

gwelf on January 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Standards will continue to slide until college becomes 10 years long just to teach them middle and high school topics again.

antisense on January 22, 2013 at 3:44 PM

…and lots of universities and colleges will be licking their chops at the thought of that. There’s big money to be made here….

The for-profit higher education business model is also inextricably tied to federal government aid. Student loan default rates are one of the few federal standards that govern eligibility for federal government loan and Pell grant dollars.

Too stupid for Big State University? No problem, we’ll just admit you anyway, collect your federally-backed student loan money and then when you flunk out 2 or 3 semesters later we’ll help you apply for a deferment! Everybody wins!

cynccook on January 22, 2013 at 4:35 PM

The Public School system is cranking out Democrat voters.

portlandon on January 22, 2013 at 4:36 PM

I don’t think most around here are anti-education. Many of us just question the actual value of what gets labelled education at all levels.

gwelf on January 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

And since it is the taxpayer who will ultimately be paying for it (well, they actually already have, in most instances, since the schools are paid upfront), I guess we have a right to question it.

cynccook on January 22, 2013 at 4:39 PM

The Public School system is cranking out Democrat voters.

portlandon on January 22, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Yes, and that can’t happen as easily or efficiently if we don’t keep them dumb, so.

cynccook on January 22, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Just because they’re being graduated doesn’t mean that they are adequate in math, science, and English. Our students test scores remain dismally low.

I have the feeling that a large percentage of this increase in students graduating likely results from the same method being debated in congress right now about how to make illegal aliens into ‘legal’ immigrants… fiat. Stick around long enough, regardless of performance or record, and we’ll give you a nice shiny diploma..or certificate of citizenship… as the case may be.

thatsafactjack on January 22, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Well at least no child gets left behind anymore – they just get passed on through whether they learned anything or not.

My youngest son cruised through senior year with an A and perfect attendance in at least one class he never once went to.

dentarthurdent on January 22, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Has there been any studies on the costs of remediation for the average college freshman to even attain the basic skills needed to continue in college, let alone prosper?

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2013 at 5:41 PM

I don’t think most around here are anti-education. Many of us just question the actual value of what gets labelled education at all levels.

gwelf on January 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Not so much anti-education as anti-government run education. Having survived being a public school parent, I really don’t understand why the smarter kids don’t just enroll in college. If you pass the GED and pass the “minimum competency exams”, move on with your life free of the drama.

2nd Ammendment Mother on January 22, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Iff yoo cain reed dis heah offishah deeploamah yoo bees gragimatated.

viking01 on January 22, 2013 at 7:04 PM

You need to really, really try hard NOT to graduate these days. These statistics mean nothing.

Hill60 on January 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

My youngest son cruised through senior year with an A and perfect attendance in at least one class he never once went to.

dentarthurdent on January 22, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Now we know who Bill Clinton beat out as parent of the year.

Capitalist Hog on January 22, 2013 at 8:22 PM

You need to really, really try hard NOT to graduate these days. These statistics mean nothing.

Hill60 on January 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Notice how there are no stats posted in this thread? Why is that?

What is it about anti-educationists that prevents them from providing facts to support their suppositions?

I see all high-school grads as under-educated until they earn a degree requiring upper-division coursework. Post-grad is preferable.

I wonder how many people kvetching in this thread hold post-secondary degrees. How many hold post-grad degrees?

Capitalist Hog on January 22, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Has anyone checked on literacy and simple math skills? I bet they haven’t.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2013 at 4:28 PM

No, measuring literacy and math skills would be…

wait for it…

RACIST!

Laura in Maryland on January 22, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Idiocy as well.

Nice job, fellas…

ted c on January 22, 2013 at 9:10 PM

a HS diploma in grievances, entitlement and whining.

/strong work, junior….

ted c on January 22, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Now we know who Bill Clinton beat out as parent of the year.

Capitalist Hog on January 22, 2013 at 8:22 PM

LOL. I never saw the nomination…..
And why didn’t I get some interns?……

We had a tough time keeping him in high school all the way to graduation – he just didn’t want to be in school. I think my original comment says a lot about the school – how do get an A and perfect attendance if you’ve never been to the class? Now we know how “no child gets left behind”.
I have to say though, with my son it was just a school issue – he didn’t want to be there because he thought it was useless – and with public schools now he was probably right.
But despite how school went, he’s already making over $11 / hour and up for a management position at Costco.

dentarthurdent on January 22, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Of course. They lowered the bar.

Ronnie on January 22, 2013 at 11:45 PM

And johnny still needs remedial classes if he goes to college. meh

AH_C on January 23, 2013 at 12:08 AM

The Public School system is cranking out Democrat voters.

portlandon on January 22, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Actually, that’s been true for the past 50 years. A lot of us came out that way, but the school of life gives us the smarts that the institutions failed at.

If a student can manage to crawl into their high school senior class — no matter how ill-prepared they are — they are virtually guaranteed a diploma. In Florida, school ranking is based on the increase of successful “at-risk” graduates, with the commensurate dollars that come to the school as their carrot. If you can’t graduate once you’re a senior, you’re probably in jail.

tpitman on January 23, 2013 at 6:01 AM

The question is what percentage of the new graduates cannot read what’s written on the diploma they were given.

Nomas on January 23, 2013 at 7:59 AM

The best example of the game higher education plays is their response to low math scores from entering freshmen. Did universities deny them entry due to their inability to score high enough? No. They don’t want to sacrifice the enrollment numbers that would give the University more funding and clout. Instead they create non credit courses required so as to still allow poor performing students to enroll. LOWER STANDARDS SO THEY CAN STILL GET THE MONEY!

Our university system is a farces just as our public school system is. It’s all about the money and power and the creation of little fiefdoms for university presidents and department deans. And the professors rarely teach the masses; student professors do that. Professors teach grad students (3 classes maybe) and do “research”. The masses are just the canon fodder that enables the kingdom.

artman1746 on January 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Everybody gets a diploma, regardless of academic achievement, printed on toilet paper.

Then their college professors sing the praises of His Majesty Hussein the First.

Steve Z on January 22, 2013 at 3:56 PM

As a college professor, I’m rather nonplussed about the quality of students walking through the doors to colleges around the country. We had a meeting where the Admin was upset that test scores were declining in our area (chemistry), and then proceeded to blame the new faculty for not doing enough to engage the students.

Truth is, the admissions standards are dropping to maintain enrollment, and the students come in totally unprepared for the rigorous work load in the sciences. A quarter of them can’t do basic algebra, and more than half can’t solve a simple word problem.

And then 90% of the faculty is voting for Obama as Obamacare forces cuts to the adjunct and staff lecturers, then turn and blame it all on Republican policies.

Nethicus on January 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Of course, no comment regarding the actual abilities or education exhibited by this higher number of graduates.

Look, if we simply want more graduates, we can simply have them schools ensure that everyone graduates via further grade inflation, looking the other way as graduates are unable to read or count, etc.

Huzzah – 100% graduation rate! What a success our education system would be *then*! /

Midas on January 23, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Public high school graduation rate now highest in four decades because we no longer hold students to any standards what-so-ever nor allow them to fail at anything.

There. I completed the sentence for them.

Shump on January 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Let me learn you something…

2Tru2Tru on January 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM