Who lied about graduation rates? Everyone. Who will be held responsible? No one.

Remember, we are #3 in graduation

The White House this week released numbers showing graduation rates on the rise across the country, results that show Alabama catapulting past most of the nation.

Alabama ranked third in the United States in 2015, behind Iowa and New Jersey.

While rising to third with an 89.3 percent graduation rate should be cause for celebration, those results concern Andrew Yerbey, Senior Policy Counsel for the conservative Alabama Policy Institute and author of “Diplomas of Duplicity,” where the disconnect between achievement and graduation rates was highlighted.

It means nothing.

This case is ridiculous…

The increase appears to be related to two things…

1. Changes in what diplomas count…

Beginning with the class of 2013, students who had previously not counted as “graduates” because they were on the Alabama Occupational Diploma track reserved for students with significant special needs could be counted as graduates.

Sentance said those graduates accounted for 2 percent of graduates in 2013 and around half of one percent of graduates in subsequent years.

2. The ending of the exit exam requirement.

Beginning with the class of 2014, the high school exit exam was no longer required for graduation.

That means they lowered standards.

Now, all that is required for a student to graduate is that they take the standardized ACT–even if they have no intention of going to college, and they’re not required to achieve a specific score–maintain a specified GPA in credit-worthy classes and meet some minimal attendance standard.

3. Some districts straight-up lied.

The second problem investigators found, Sentance said, was that the state department did not properly monitor how schools award credit for coursework, which led in some cases, to systems misstating student records and awarding diplomas that “were not honestly earned.”

Bice said he couldn’t speak to the state monitoring issue.

Who decided to change the way the graduates were counted? Was this done locally? Did all these counties decided to BS their way through this or did it come from the State School Board?

As the graduation rates skyrocketed…


Standards scores fell.

In Brimingham….

In Birmingham, with nearly 24,000 students currently in the system, ACT scores dropped between 2014 and 2015, former city Superintendent Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan revealed in July during her State of Birmingham City Schools address.

In Alabama?

This is not good.

Who will be held responsible?

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