The Other Half…

Per this, Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Easy Grades Equate To Failing Grads.

Students such as Brandon Curry, 20, a graduate of Redan High in DeKalb County, said they were surprised to learn decent high school grades don’t always translate into college success.

“English was my strongest subject,” he said after a remedial reading class earlier this spring at Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston. “But when I came to college, I was like, ‘Whoa.  “I’m on this level,” he said, motioning to about knee-level. “And I’m supposed to be up here,” he said, raising his hand above his chest.

Once again, we’ve got the high school GRADS—not the 50% who don’t make it to high school graduation in May, the 50% who DO make it—but then go on to get academically hammered in college because high school required basically no legit work.  

Several current teachers said they could not agree to have their name published along with their concerns because they feared for their jobs. Their complaints echoed recent blog posts and e-mails from other teachers.

They said that some schools bar teachers from giving “zeroes” —or even failing grades—for work never submitted, let students retake classes without penalty, and punish teachers who fail too many students. They said administrators pressure them to pass students who put little or no effort into learning because of fears that the students will drop out.

Policymakers take note. You’ve got half the loaf in place: accurate reporting of dropouts. Good. You need the other half. Each state must track and publish each high school’s COLLEGE success rates. Otherwise, you incentivize administrators to overrule teachers when they appropriately give out failing grades to kids.  

For top notch wonkery on this issue, read Stanford’s Michael Kirst’s blog.

—Guestblogger Mike Goldstein

2 Replies to “The Other Half…”

  1. Thank you so very much. In the schools we see the pressure every day, but policy analysts seem to believe that we’re just making it up.

  2. It is truely a scary thing for our students to make good grades in high school but not be able to cope in college. What is happening to our American school system? I am afraid that our education system is lacking. As a teacher, and someone who deals with exchange students from different countries, I see the difference in our educational system from other countries. The United States education system is definately lagging behind.

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