Education Week reports that “Alabama Officials Admit to Lying About Graduation Rate.”
In an apology announcement the Alabama Department of Education says:
“The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) is involved in a review of recent graduation rates by the Office of Inspector General, which resides within the United States Department of Education (USDE). The ALSDE has determined, after completing an initial audit, that the graduation rate was misstated to the people of Alabama – policymakers, educators, parents, students, all citizens – and to the USDE.”
One inflationary factor Alabama admits is:
“Low Oversight of Local School Systems’ Awarding of Credits – The ALSDE did not increase oversight as needed of local school systems’ awarding of earned class credits. In some cases, local school systems misstated student records and awarded class credit, resulting in diplomas that were not honestly earned.”
Well, maybe US Ed will be coming to Kentucky, too.
As we have pointed out in several blogs, the Bluegrass State also claims very large high school graduation rates, but many students might not really meet the stated requirements.
In particular, while Kentucky regulations stipulate that students must be proficient in math through Algebra II to graduate, a number of school districts recently reported graduation rates well above 90 percent but only have single-digit proficiency rates on the state’s Algebra II End-of-Course (EOC) Exam.
In fact, as shown at the bottom of the table above, even in the district with the least disparity, there still seems to be a notable gap between the graduation rate and the Algebra II EOC Exam proficiency rate.
See our latest series on high school graduation rate quality control problems for more.
So, don’t be surprised if US Ed comes calling on Kentucky after they finish up in Alabama and in California, which also seems to have some grad rate credibility issues.