US Graduation: Are Today’s High School Students Prepared?
Students from across the United States are preparing to finish their high school education in the coming weeks.
Most of the students will graduate. Others will not.
Education experts say some of the graduates will be receiving a degree even though they did not complete all school requirements. Some school officials have been found to violate graduation policies in an effort to increase graduation rates.
In January, an independent audit discovered widespread graduation policy violations in the District of Columbia Public Schools, or DCPS. It found that about 34 percent of Washington D.C. public school students who graduated in 2017 had not met the district’s graduation requirements.
The DCPS ordered the audit after several news organizations reported on the violations.
The audit said that students were permitted to pass classes at most D.C. high schools even if they had violated attendance policies. It also reported that sometimes students received passing grades even when they had missed the majority of classwork.
The audit said DCPS teachers and school leaders felt pressure from officials to pass and graduate as many students as possible. It noted the city had created a culture of breaking the rules to help struggling students get through the system.
The culture was fueled by the D.C. government’s “aggressive graduation goals,“ the audit said. The findings forced officials to admit the system had major problems.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she believed many teachers and administrators had tried to do the right things to help students. But she added that “unfortunately, they did the wrong things.“ She promised that officials had taken the audit seriously and would take steps to correct the problems identified.
The DCPS recently issued a progress report ahead of this year’s graduation ceremonies, set to take place in early June. The report estimated that just 46 percent of DCPS students were “on-track“ to graduate in 2018.