How prepared are today’s high school students?

The time has come when high school students all over the United States will graduate. Most of them will graduate and the rest will not.

However, it’s been claimed that some school officials are violating the graduation policies to increase the graduation rates which means that students who doesn’t meet the graduation criteria will be graduating as well.

An independent audit discovered rampant graduation policy violations in the District of Columbia Public Schools. 34 percent of the Washington DC public school students who graduated in 2017 had not met the graduation requirements.

Students graduated classes even when they didn’t meet the minimum attendance requirement. The city has made it a culture to help struggling students get through the system.

Discovery shows that the culture was a result of “aggressive graduation goals” and even the officials had to admit that the system had major problems.

Mayor Muriel Bowser was disappointed with the state of teachers and administrators. She promised that the officials have learnt their lesson and would take necessary steps to correct the discovered problems.

A new report from the District of Columbia Public Schools suggests that this year only 46 percent of DCPS students are on track to graduate.

On track refers to those students who are currently passing or having passed all courses required for graduation.

It seems like that it will always be a difficult task to get a true picture of student progress while educators are held accountable for repeatedly reaching exact targets. A research has proven that people and groups are more prone to becoming corrupt when they are held responsible for reaching exact number goals. This is also known as Campbell’s Law.

Another problem discovered was the misuse of credit recovery programs at high schools across the district. These programs are meant to make up credit in case the student has missed so many classes or failed a course. The student can make up for the work during the academic year or even complete the coursework online.

But the audit found that DCPS students violated the laws of credit recovery programs, it was used in the place of usual coursework as well even when the student had not failed any classes.

It’s like if a student fails in biology and needs a credit in science, then the administrators send you off to some online service provider and after three weeks later the student will pass biology. But did student really learn anything about Biology in just three weeks?

These evidences are clear indicator that these programs are not the most effective method for teaching students about the subjects they are studying.

The major problem that arises with this is that the students will be graduating without the skills required for college or employment. Furthermore, these students have a much higher college dropout rate. The reason is that these students have to work even harder to make up for the lost time. The bigger impact is on the economy and society as whole.


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