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We Should Not Try to Raise Graduation Rates

I saw a stat about a public school that raised graduation rates from 55% to 82%.

Here’s the problem: raising graduation rates in most situations means “We found a way to get kids to sit in their chairs longer!”

We need to change school, not keep kids in their seats longer.

A high school graduation means a kid sat in a chair for a certain number of hours.

When are we going to start talking about how to make sure kids are ready for life after high school?

There is no good reason for the question of graduation to go down to the wire.

It's spring semester, most everywhere in the USA. Some schools may be doing trimesters, so the last marking period hasn't started yet.

Either way, Seniors at this point should know if they are graduating or not.

Inevitably, in a few months, there will be some high school seniors who worry whether or not they will graduate.

This is crazy to me. The student has been in the system for 12.5 years (at least) at this point. How can their status be in jeopardy still?

It seems to me that it is one of two reasons:

  1. We have a ridiculously silly and antiquated system of determining graduation that can essentially erase 12.5 years of work with one teacher's opinion of a student.
  2. We, as the adults, are not doing our job of ensuring that each student is ready and aware of graduation status.

If you are a high school administrator, and your students don't know right now exactly what they need to do graduate in just a few months, you are failing those kids. At this point, graduation should be a known event.

There is no good reason for the question of graduation to go down to the wire.