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Is the High School Graduation Rate Really Going Up?

Education Next – Mark Dynarski

“It was only ten years ago that the country adopted a standard for measuring its high school graduation rate. The US Department of Education under Secretary Margaret Spellings added a regulation to the No Child Left Behind accountability structure that states needed to report the ‘adjusted cohort graduation rate’ of their high schools.” (more)

Are High Schools Adequately Preparing Teens for College? No One Really Knows. That’s Why Today’s GreatSchools Analysis Is One of the Most Important Education Reports in Years

The 74 Million – Richard Whitmire

“The most important education report you’ve seen in recent years was released today, and it has data shortcomings. Its “awards” are based on just a few qualifying states and recommendations that seem on target, but considering the limited data, who knows? While that sounded critical, it’s really a compliment. What GreatSchools attempted in its College Success Awards is an impressive venture — the first I’ve seen that takes a pure-data approach — into the iffy world of what high schools promise: We’ll make your child college-ready.” (more)

Exclusive — 39 States Can’t Say How Well High Schools Are Preparing Teens for College; New GreatSchools Report IDs Best Schools in 9 States at Getting Grads Into Higher Ed

The 74 Million – Emmeline Zhao

“Just two states publish full information on whether students from specific high schools go on to graduate from postsecondary institutions, and just 12 states gather and report data on how well those students do after they get to college. “A clear reason is that [states are] not federally mandated to publish this data,” said Samantha Brown Olivieri, chief strategy officer for GreatSchools, a nonprofit that uses research and data to inform parents about school quality and educational opportunity.” (more)

Initiative aims to boost US college graduation rates by ‘hundreds of thousands’

Education Dive – Patti Zarling

“The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced a new effort in which 100 public research universities — organized in clusters of eight to 10 institutions — will work together to increase graduation rates by hundreds of thousands by 2025. The clusters will develop, refine and scale innovative practices in a way that also aims to close the achievement gap, the group said. Participating schools will commit to sharing key data and advocating proven practices within their groups in an effort to develop models that could work on a larger scale.” (more)

California’s ambitious education reforms paying off in higher graduation rates and math scores, study finds

Ed Source – Louis Freedberg

“California’s sweeping education reforms championed by Gov. Jerry Brown have resulted in higher graduation rates and especially sizable gains in math among low-income students in the 11th grade, according to a new study. “The evidence suggests that money targeted to students’ needs can make a significant difference in student outcomes and narrow achievement gaps,” the study by researchers at UC Berkeley and the Learning Policy Institute found.” (more)

Analysis: Minnesota Cheers a Booming Graduation Rate — Even as Fewer of Those Grads Can Read or Do Math at a High School Level

The 74 Million – Beth Hawkins

“Some years ago, I was visiting with an inmate in a state prison, a young black man. We’d finished combing through his case, which was a study in sundry miscarriages of justice, and were making small talk. “You know what gets me about this place?” he said, gesturing at the other convicts in the concrete block visiting room. “All these guys graduated from high school.” Covering courts, I didn’t get his point back then. But I thought about him the other day upon reading an analysis published by MinnPost, a nonprofit Minnesota news site where I used to work, showing that graduation rates in the state are rising even though other measures of academic achievement are not. The problem is particularly acute in Minneapolis and St. Paul.” (more)