Getting it exactly backwards on GPAs versus ACT test scores and what it should take to graduate high school
The Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) just posted their comments on a proposed set of changes to the Kentucky high school graduation requirements. In their comments, the KSBA takes issue with the planned use of the ACT college entrance test results as one of a number of ways that Kentucky’s students can show they meet muster for a diploma. Instead, the comment says that a focus will be on GPAs within the Kentucky public college system.
Well, our recent analysis of the latest data from the Kentucky Center for Statistics, which we discussed in our blog, “Are high school GPAs better predictors of college performance than the ACT?” shows that the ACT is a notably better predictor of college freshman year GPAs than are high school GPAs.
Basically, the educators’ preference for GPAs in Kentucky just doesn’t align with what the actual data shows us.
Except for a suggestion to reduce a work requirement for one of the career ready options from 1,000 to 500 hours, which I agree is warranted, the KSBA comments largely seem aimed at excusing the current, very bad high school graduation situation where schools are passing out massive amounts of diplomas that clearly don’t have much real education behind them. I can’t help feeling the comments come across as mostly just wanting to just look good, rather than being good. I hope the KSBA, which often does very good work, will take a second look at their comments and do some revising, because our kids don’t deserve to be misled by a piece of paper that won’t really do much, if anything, for them in the real work world.