I’m just starting to review the new Unbridled Learning school accountability data that was released today, but in reviewing the Briefing Packet, State Release document, I found something that left me scratching my head. On Page 4 of the Briefing Packet it says:
The 2013 cohort graduation rate is 86.1. Graduation rates for 2011-12 and 2012-13 are not comparable.”
A little consistency here would be nice. To compare, or not to compare, that is the question.
By the way, I want to be clear that no-one in Kentucky is more earnestly interested than I am in boosting the state’s high school graduation rate, provided the diplomas behind the numbers represent solid performance. But, that raises my second concern with the very high, 86 percent graduation rate the state just posted.
You see, the governor’s press release also discusses the percentages of those graduates who attained successful performance either on the ACT college entrance test or on at least one of several measures of career readiness in occupational skills. Only 54 percent of our 2013 graduates met such college/career ready standards.
So, it looks like only about half of the graduates in 2013 got really meaningful diplomas, at least based on the realities of today’s economy. Before I see our graduation numbers go up more, I’d like to see evidence that those additional pieces of diploma paper really represent something.
Along those lines, I’d like to offer another “Hat Tip” to the Franklin Simpson High School, which vowed that all students who graduate this year must meet a college or career readiness standard.
When it comes to high school graduation rates, thinking like that in Franklin Simpson is what I am talking about.