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North High: Do improved graduation rates mean more high schoolers prepared for college?

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Even though Denver public schools are out for the summer and most graduation ceremonies are over, the debate over DPS's increasing graduation rates continues. For more, read our feature, "Passing on Education." Today, Education News Colorado contributor Alexander Ooms weighs in with an opinion piece that includes two helpful charts that show the relationship between graduation rates and test scores.

The charts suggest that high graduation rates don't always mean high test scores. In other words, even though a school may be graduating most of its seniors, that's no guarantee those seniors have the academic skills necessary to succeed in college or the workplace.

The school with the biggest discrepancy between graduation rate and test scores? Bruce Randolph, once lauded by President Obama but recently criticized by education author Diane Ravitch for, in her words, inflating its success. The school with the second-biggest discrepancy was North High, the subject of our feature.

Did those discrepancies grow or shrink this year? We may have to wait until college remediation rates -- the number of DPS grads who must take high school-level remedial courses in college before they can start earning college credit -- can tell the whole story.

More from our Education archives: "North High: DPS board member Arturo Jimenez calls for investigation into credit recovery."


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3 comments
instntkrma
instntkrma

do you wonder if more of these kids are going on to community college and getting brought up to speed there? There is something to be said for not stopping the momentum. At the college level, there is a level of financial responsibility..

Robert
Robert

What momentum?  Most graduates of Colorado high schools lack basic proficiency in math and English.  Many of these young adults are being encouraged to enroll in college and are being admitted.  Although financial aid does not pay directly for remedial courses, students are taking other classes and receive grants and loans to cover the cost.  Many students who take remedial courses in mathematics in college never successfully complete them -- I believe that this is the main reason that students fail to earn a degree.  Colorado ignores its paradoxical educational status as the state with the highest number of college graduates per capita, but a college graduation rate in the lowest 25% of the nation, and the problem may be getting even worse.

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