Daily VideoApril 12, 2013
Can Numbers on Rising Graduation Rates Be Trusted?
Watch Can We Trust Increases in High School Graduation Rates? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
Over the past four years, data shows that the high school graduation rose five percentage points to 78.2 percent; a significant jump after stagnating for almost 40 years.
However, it is unclear whether this statistical jump is due to real progress, or whether states and school districts are massaging the numbers to look better on paper.
“If a school wants to raise their performance levels, either test scores or grad rates, and they have students who are low-achieving who will drag them down, then one — one alternative they have is to transfer them into an alternative system that either is run by them, their own — the district itself, or outside the districts,” said Russell Rumberger of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Some schools also offer students the opportunity to make up failed classes or missing credits online to prevent them from dropping out, although the quality of these classes is questionable. Others allow students to switch to home-schooling without following up on their education.
However, regardless of whether schools are padding their numbers, high school graduation rates will still have to jump significantly to meet President Obama’s goal of producing the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020.
“For many kids to really believe schooling is going to lead somewhere, you have got to have really strong pathways to adult success,” – Robert Balfanz, Johns Hopkins University.
Warm up questions
1. What keeps you motivated to finish school?
2. What is a GED? How is it different from a high school diploma?
3. How do you think your school’s graduation rate compares to others?
1. Why is it important to get a high school diploma?
2. Why is it a problem if schools and states are not counting their graduation rates correctly?
3. Do you know anyone who has dropped out of school? If so, why did they drop out?
4. What could schools do to make more students want to stay till graduation?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would have come a half a mile south of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Instead, the Corps said it would begin to explore alternative routes. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Fighting has escalated in Aleppo, Syria as rebel groups try to hold off government forces attempting to take back the eastern section of the city. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Fidel Castro, the 90-year old communist leader of Cuba, died on Friday. He had ruled the country with a firm grip for nearly half a century, withstanding a 50-year long U.S. economic embargo and multiple assassination attempts. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to crack down on undocumented immigration, including hundreds of thousands of young people who have obtained temporary legal status under the Obama Administration. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The proliferation of fake news sources on social media has raised questions about the duty of sites like Facebook and Twitter to screen content and distinguish fact from fiction. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld