Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Race to the Bottom: High School graduation rate is another race AZ is trying to win

We're almost there. Here are data compiled by NPR.

The national graduation rate is at an all-time high — 81 percent. It was such big news, President Obama touted it in this year's State of the Union address.

But that figure is a national average. AZ grad rates declined by 3% from 2011 to 2013 leaving the state as 43rd in the nation. Don't fret about it; have faith. We'll get to the bottom.

Check out the NPR article for more disturbing facts about AZ education. For example:

Arizona automatically enrolls students in Algebra II, but allows students to opt out. Experts say the class is essential: If you had to identify one requirement that shows rigor, it's Algebra II. But in many states, students are not automatically enrolled or may opt into less difficult courses.

Opt out? Maybe there is a connection to performance on career/college readiness measures? Of AZ graduates taking the ACT, 37% score at or above the math benchmark and 29% score at or above the science benchmark. It's not test-specific. Fewer than half of the graduates taking the SAT met the benchmark on that test. Kind of hard to sell the state on its skilled work force.

h/t Jerry Stoops

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