In their new report, “2016 Statewide Results: An Excellence with Equity Report,” the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence now recognizes the value of a high school performance metric we introduced over a year ago.
The Bluegrass Institute’s “Effective High School Graduation Rate,” has real value for helping to determine the performance of education systems in Kentucky. It shows the proportion of entering ninth grade students who graduate four years later with the skills needed to qualify as either college or career ready using Kentucky’s official methods for determining such readiness.
As we showed in our February 2016 report about “Blacks Continue Falling Through Gaps in Louisville’s Schools, The 2016 Update,” the Effective High School Graduation Rate is useful to identify which schools (and school districts) excessively promote students to a high school diploma without providing the education those diplomas need to represent if students are to be ready for life.
Prichard uses this metric extensively in their new report although they call it the “Ready Graduate” indicator. Prichard doesn’t go into the more detailed explanation we provide about why the formula works (or that the Bluegrass Institute has been using this statistic for some time).
But, whether called the Effective High School Graduation Rate or the Ready Graduate indicator, it is the same statistic and is actually calculated in the same way (though Prichard leaves out a few math details in their description about dividing the product of the four-year graduation rate and the percent college and/or career ready by 100 to actually develop the percentage-like numbers they show).
In any event, the really important message here is that Prichard now joins the Bluegrass Institute in pointing to this new measure of the proportion of ninth graders who graduate ready for life as an important indicator. Folks putting the new assessment and accountability system together for Kentucky need to take note, because only paying attention to the four-year graduation rate is creating pressure for schools to socially promote students to diplomas who really are not ready. That makes some schools look good when they really are not so hot.
And, making schools look good when they obviously are not so hot has been a major failing of Unbridled Learning. That is something I am sure neither the Bluegrass Institute nor Prichard want repeated in the state’s new assessment and accountability program.