Michigan joins a growing number of states that are finally coming honest about the real graduation rates in their high schools.
According to Ann Arbor News, getting honest resulted in a notable reduction from Michigan’s former, inflated rates. Michigan now reports that only 75 percent actually graduate. Last year, thanks to an inflated system (similar to the one STILL in use in Kentucky), the newspaper says the graduation rate was about 10 points higher.
Michigan’s new, and honest, system also reports nearly a 400 percent increase in the state’s dropout rates. Thanks to their honesty, Michigan now has a much better chance of identifying and rectifying their graduation rate problems.
Meanwhile, Kentucky could switch to a more honest graduation rate system right now with a formula called the “Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate.” This formula has already been scientifically investigated by the US Department of Education and found to be a reasonably accurate interim solution while states get high quality student tracking systems on line. We don’t have to wait at least four more years for our student tracking system to come on line (it still isn’t fully operational) to provide the minimum of four years of data required for an accurate graduation rate calculation.
Why does our state board of education steadfastly refuse to provide us, and our CATS school accountability system, with honest data almost two years after an official state audit found our present numbers are hopelessly inaccurate?
The board knows about this problem – why do they continue to drag their heels on this important step to improve transparency in government?