Higher graduation rates! Who cares?

In an editorial, The Middletown Times Herald-Record asks the question, “Who cares about higher graduation rates?”

“If the rate meant something, it would be worth celebrating. But if all it means is that more 18-year-olds won’t be back the following fall, then there’s not much to talk about.

“The trouble is, as a story in the Times Herald-Record clearly illustrated on Monday, that graduation from high school no longer proves anything. It gives students a credential to put on an application. But any employer who digs a bit deeper will find that the diploma that used to mean something now is not necessarily an indication that the person holding it is ready to take on the challenges of the working world.

“We know that because far too many of those with those diplomas are not ready to take on the challenges of the world of higher education either.

“As the story explained, more than half of the students arriving for the fall semester of local community colleges fall short of the minimum requirements on placement tests.”

The editorial points out the added costs those students and their families incur when they have to pay tuition to revisit subjects “they allegedly mastered to get a high school diploma.”

“This is not a new problem, and many had hoped that a more rigorous, standard curriculum would help. But the solution that was offered, the Common Core, had the kind of problems that any serious effort in reform is bound to have and that was enough to turn it into a tool for many manipulative politicians.”

To read the complete editorial, please click here.


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