Robert Pondiscio: The Phoniest Statistic in American Education

Diane Ravitch's blog

Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and even President Obama have done a victory dance about the “historic” rise in the graduation rate, but Robert Pondiscio of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute says that it is the “phoniest statistic” in American education.

Pondiscio writes:

According to federal data released late last year, and dutifully trumpeted ever since (including in last night’s State of the Union address), the nation’s high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high, with 82 percent of the Class of 2014 earning a diploma. “As a result, many more students will have a better chance of going to college, getting a good job, owning their own home, and supporting a family,” crowed then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Isn’t it pretty to think so?

In fact, Secretary Duncan might be right for now. Confidence and good will are baked into a high school diploma. It is an…

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