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Improving the Quality of Education

Inside Higher Ed – Derek Bok

“Increasing graduation rates and levels of educational attainment will accomplish little if students do not learn something of lasting value. Yet federal efforts over the last several years have focused much more on increasing the number of Americans who go to college than on improving the education they receive once they get there. By concentrating so heavily on graduation rates and attainment levels, policy makers are ignoring danger signs that the amount that students learn in college may have declined over the past few decades and could well continue to do so in the years to come. The reasons for concern include:.”(more)

Nevada high school graduation rates inch up with fifth year added

The Las Vegas Review Journal – Meghin Delaney

“Given an extra year, Nevada saw an extra 630 students from the Class of 2016 earn a diploma. The most recent five-year graduation rate, based on students who started high school in fall 2011, came in at 73.5, the state reported Wednesday. That’s up slightly from the four-year graduation rate of students who started high school that same year, which was released in the fall and calculated at 70.8.”(more)

Solving the Rural Education Gap: Experts Weigh In on New Report’s Findings Tying Gap to Prosperity

The 74 Million – Mareesa Nicosia

“About half of all U.S. public school districts are considered rural, and they collectively enroll some 12 million students, or one-quarter of the total public school population, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Whether these students end up graduating from high school and college, and how they fare in the workforce, is linked inextricably to their rural education experiences, a new report finds. The study, published in April by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, sheds light on the state of rural education and its relationship to economic prosperity in regions of the country that played a pivotal part in President Donald Trump’s election.”(more)

What We Don’t Know About High Schools Can Hurt Us

Education Next – Mark Dynarski

“Imagine your doctor tells you that you have an unhealthy condition. You ask what you can do about it. He responds that he doesn’t know. When you return some time later, he tells you your unhealthy condition is improving. You ask what brought on the improvement, and he responds that he doesn’t know. You ask if any studies are going on about the condition. He shrugs and says a few. High school graduation in the U.S. is like this. First, researchers struggled to understand why it was low and unchanging for a long time. Now, researchers are struggling to understand why it is rising. And there are few studies going on about effective approaches for helping students graduate. For a young person, graduating from high school is an important milestone of their educational progress, and it has economic implications, too. A recent report estimated that by 2020, 65 percent of jobs will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. [1] Getting to college means getting through high school.”(more)

Reaching 90% Grad Rate Unlikely Without an Acute Focus on Low-Income, Minority Kids, Report Finds

The 71 Million – Mark Keierleber

“As the national high school graduation rate continues to rise — it hit a record 83.2 percent last year — the leaders of a campaign to raise that number to 90 percent by 2020 said Wednesday they fear the country will not meet that goal. Hitting that ambitious target would require a far more intense focus on minority and low-income students, who continue to lag behind. “We’ve got to be real about what the barriers are to success for students,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of the America’s Promise Alliance.”(more)

More HS Students Are Graduating, but These Key Indicators Prove Those Diplomas Are Worth Less Than Ever

The 74 Million – Kevin Mahnken

“Last October, in perhaps the final triumphant moment of his administration, President Obama announced that America’s soaring high school graduation rate had risen, again, to an all-time high of 83 percent. Before he took office, the percentage of students earning diplomas languished for decades in the low to mid-70s; now the news was made still better by some narrowing of the persistent gaps between white and minority students. Whether the progress could be attributed to Obama’s policies or broader trends (some academics have credited diminished teen pregnancy rates and falling levels of child lead exposure), it was undoubtedly cause for celebration.”(more)