Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Prichard Provides Interesting Insight on Whether Kids Held Back Ever Graduate

I’m still locked out of the Prichard Committee’s Blog, so I can’t compliment Susan Weston on her interesting calculation of the percentage of students who are held back in ninth grade and then go on to finally get a regular diploma.

Susan estimates that only about 17 percent of the kids who are retained (held back) in ninth grade eventually go on to get a diploma. It’s a pretty grim statistic.

It’s also worth your time to read the comment to Susan’s blog from Cindy Baumert. Ms. Baumert interprets Susan’s statistic as indicating that those who say we shouldn’t be upset if kids take five years to graduate are wrong. Instead, it’s time to figure out what is really going on because we are not getting the job done.

To all of that, I heartily agree. We have dragged our heels far too long thanks in part to inflated graduation rates and unrealistically low dropout rates that lulled too many into a sense of complacency. Our jails are now full of the consequences of our failure to get a grip on why kids fail in school.

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