(USNewsMag.com) – In the nation’s capital, a growing number of students are completing high school. But students’ academic achievement appears to be declining sharply. Increasing quantities of high school seniors are graduating and receiving their diplomas, yet their academic performance is declining and absenteeism is rising.
There should be fewer high school graduates from D.C. public schools based on attendance and performance statistics. Graduation rates continue to climb, though.
Starting with the 2018-2019 academic year, D.C.’s public and charter school graduation rates have been on an upward trajectory. Measures of kids’ academic performance, however, do not reflect this improvement. High school pupils’ performance in state mathematics examinations has dropped to 2022’s 11.1 percent from 2019’s 18.4 percent.
One probable explanation for the graduation of low-performing students is rising grade inflation, which allows those who haven’t mastered the topic to acquire passing marks without earning them. According to Max Eden of the American Enterprise Institute, there has been a growth in anti-failure policies.
It is possible that D.C. schools are not adhering to their own standards for graduation attendance. This error wouldn’t be unprecedented in the DC public school system. After conducting an assessment of the public schools in DC based on 2018 records, officials determined that the district’s dramatic increase in their rates of graduation was due solely to schools not consistently implementing their own standards.
Sadly, the results don’t improve when students graduate without the essential academic abilities. There is no guarantee that more students are leaving high school equipped with marketable skills just because more of them are graduating.
More pupils are not graduating with the necessary abilities for further education, either. While more students are completing high school, a far smaller percentage of them go on to complete higher education (from 37% to 22%).
When graduation is a “virtual guarantee,” as Eden put it, it loses much of its practical significance.
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