May 19, 2008

U.S. News story on graduation statistics

Almost 45 years, U.S. News first published a piece about dropping out, a short blurb titled "The Facts about School 'Dropouts'" in its August 26, 1963 issue (p. 11):
A high-school education is becoming more important. Each year, it becomes harder for a young person without a high-school diploma to get a job. And unemployment among the young is growing.
This was part of a broader concern with dropping out in the early 1960s. Then, the gelling of a stereotype about dropouts was the mirror of a developing norm of high school graduation. But it remains an issue, and U.S. News returns to the topic this week with a story about number-crunching: Keeping Count of Students Who Drop Out. The specifics of the story are about Florida's numbers, which I've written about before, and I talked with the reporter about both the issues with Florida (esp. the treatment of GEDs) and the history, and I only winced once:
Education Trust was one of the first groups to show how states were padding their graduation numbers.

That's true if you only start looking in 2003. It's not true if you go back a few decades...

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Posted in Education policy on May 19, 2008 10:20 AM |