2008 April 06 Sunday
Official High School Drop Out Rates Understate Problem

Educational bureaucracies lie. What, teachers don't operate noble institutions?

One team of statisticians working at the state education headquarters here recently calculated the official graduation rate at a respectable 87 percent, which Mississippi reported to Washington. But in another office piled with computer printouts, a second team of number crunchers came up with a different rate: a more sobering 63 percent.

One third of the kids in California drop out of school. Such are the wages of Third World immigration.

Like Mississippi, many states use an inflated graduation rate for federal reporting requirements under the No Child Left Behind law and a different one at home. As a result, researchers say, federal figures obscure a dropout epidemic so severe that only about 70 percent of the one million American students who start ninth grade each year graduate four years later.

California, for example, sends to Washington an official graduation rate of 83 percent but reports an estimated 67 percent on a state Web site. Delaware reported 84 percent to the federal government but publicized four lower rates at home.

The No Child Left Behind law actually increases the incentive for schools to discourage kids from attending. A dumb kid who drops out is a dumb kid who won't pull down standardized test scores.

The lies and counterproductive educational policies will continue until cheap genetic testing allows scientists to discover the genetic alleles that cause intelligence differences. Once the low performers can be shown to have genetically caused lower cognitive abilities our elites will finally have to admit that most kids can't do college level work and a substantial portion can't even do high school senior level academic work.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 April 06 10:41 PM  Education

JSBolton said at April 7, 2008 7:46 PM:

One number here really jumps out as needing some nitpicking.
Isn't it more like FOUR million starting 9th grade each year, rather than ONE million?

JSBolton said at April 8, 2008 1:53 AM:

Another source is here: James J. Heckman and Paul A. LaFontaine
High School Graduation Rates
(econlog.econlib.org, posting of Dec. 20th,'07)
" ...the U.S. high school graduation rate peaked at around 80 percent in the late 1960s and then declined by 4-5 percentage points

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